The first Palestinian vineyard is situated in the city of Tayibe. Their wine is sweet but delicious.
When you think of a vineyard, you imagine these pastoral, green, lush views. But this vineyard is far from Europe, near the Palestinian city Tayibe, near Ramallah, the first in the Palestinian territories.
“I learned from my grandfather how to make wine. All Tayibe residents make wine in their home,” explains Cnaan Houri. “Here they like very sweet wine.”
Cnaan, 24, opened the vineyard after returning from engineering studies in Harvard. Creating alcohol in a Muslim environment did not intimidate him. “We haven’t had any problems with the neighbors,” he says. The grapes are all grown in the territories and are made into wine in the factory next to a boutique hotel. The workers are busily using the last grapes of the season.
The Channel 2 News reporter found the wine very tasty. “Half wine, half juice,” he says. From here, the wine will sit in these casks for the winter. Nadim Houri points out the different wines, “We have 5 wines including Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.”
What makes the vineyard so unique is the Zeini Blanc made purely with grapes from the Palestinian territories. The Houri family is no stranger to alcohol. They also own the Tayibe beer factory. The wine is being currently marketed to Denmark and Greece. Apparently, Israel is a difficult customer. Cnaan explains that the problem is that the wine is not kosher.
Yair Hayden, a wine connoisseur, tasted the wine and found it to be very unpretentious. “This wine doesn’t try to be sophisticated. It’s very good for the first year. Baron Rothschild used to say the first 400 years are hard. It’s hard to make a good wine in the first years. Those who make wine want people to meet, this could help our area.” Let’s hope we can make a regional toast very soon. Lechaim!