Thursday, January 8, 2015

Full bodied, with a hint of earthy undertones and a pleasing bouquet.............

We had a quiet evening and I spent time catching up on my journal. Another week had almost gone by, and I felt I was getting close to the end of my trip, but still had lots to see.

I was leaving Niza on the Friday evening and going back to Shoshi for one night, and this was the day we had brunch on the beach with Eti. It was a beautiful day as you have seen from my photos, no breeze, just warm sunshine and blue skies. It was lovely to sit and enjoy and I resisted the temptation to plunge into the Mediterranean.

Eti had picked us up for this little trip, and after a substantial brunch, we headed back to Niza's wondering what we were going to do with the rest of our day when Niza had a brilliant idea! In Ramat HaSharon, there is a winery how about doing that for a while this afternoon? Sounded like a very good idea to me so that is how we ended up at the Benhaim Winery.

The owners of the winery were originally from Romania, and had been in Israel since the 1930's. We arrived and were greeted by a lovely young man, (I seem to have met so many lovely young men on this trip), who sat us down and brought two glasses for the first one which was a Chardonnay. There were one or two other people there buying wine, and Niza told me that at 2pm, there would be entertainment in the form of a singer and piano. What better way to spend the afternoon than sipping on wine and listening to music?

I let Niza chat on with our young host, and I spent time looking at the wines. After the white, he poured a Cabernet Franc.

 I thought I had gone to heaven.

As he poured it, he is talking about it and telling where the grapes are from, (the Galil), and anything else we should know. Now, I have done wine tastings back in the UK and been told what I should be doing, so, I swilled the wine in my glass, sniffed deeply, held it up to the light to look at it's  "legs", (those are the runnings down the inside of the glass), sucked it in between my teeth swilled and pouted............ and looked up to see a couple who had come in watching me in total fascination. I swallowed and went into the stratosphere.

I found out which bottle it was, and put one aside to bring home to the husband.  (We had the wine at Christmas time, and I have to tell you that it was GORGEOUS, full and rounded and I was sorry I didn't bring another bottle, but as I have mentioned, weight can be a problem in a suitcase.) I am wondering who is going to Israel as I would love another bottle........... although I did purchase some Israeli wines at Christmas time from the LCBO which made my heart sing

The man in leather and chains is the owner of the winery, and the young lady was the singer. We sat and sipped and waited......and waited. Niza said she should have realized we were on Israeli time so 2pm meant 3pm.... eventually they started and it was lovely, mellow music and wine, nothing better, by this time we were trying a Rose, (blush wine to those of you in the US.) The wines from Benhaim had won some very prestigious awards and it was interesting to see them hanging on the walls. If anyone is going over, I will be asking you to take a bottle of Icewine. We had quite the chat about it they have heard of it, but never had it, so please, if you are going, I will pay for a bottle from Duty Free on your way out to be delivered to the lovely young man at Benhaim.

The winery was quite busy, and we left having heard some of the music and then left. The owner was standing outside talking to someone, and there was his Harley Davidson.

Nina almost stroked it and looked at it longingly. I guess we get a bit blasé here, we see so many during the summer here it really doesn't mean very much. I wouldn't have been at all surprised fi he offered her a ride and seen her going off into the sunset...........

Well, as it didn't happen, we had time to go to go for a wander in the centre of Ramat HaSharon. There is a lovely tree lined boulevard and on it are some wonderful sculptures, so we had a lovely stroll looking at them all. These are just a ew of my photographs, the works are all by very well known Israeli artists.

This piece was interesting as I had seen the work of this sculptor at the Museum of Modern Art in Tel Aviv. I posted a photo in one of my first posts of a Bull's face, if you look closely, you will see this small circular face in there too. This face, although they are all different, features in the Holocaust memorial in  Berlin, (I think.) There are thousands of them piled up and every one is different. Very emotional piece even just seeing what I saw.

We got back home and not long after Shoshi arrived to collect me. We had a quick coffee and then left Niza and Chaim and headed back to Bat Yam.

I had a wonderful time with Niza and Chaim, they were so welcoming and warm and I missed them, I look forward to seeing them again, we laughed a lot too.

It was good to see Shoshi again and we were heading out for dinner this evening with a very good friend of hers. We freshened up and then went off to pick up Aliza. Our plan was to have a meal and then go and see a movie. We had a lovely meal and I adored Aliza, she was such a positive person and I know she deals with a lot, but I was struck by her determination. She and Shoshi had been working on a project together.

We carried on to the movie theatre only to find that the film was sold out, oh well, never mind, we found a coffee shop and had a lovely time chatting and laughing together. It was soon time to go home as it was the Sabbath tomorrow, and there was a party to go to in the evening....

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