This late morning and early afternoon, at the invitation of Rivka Pomerantz, I attended a meeting of the members of the forum of the Israeli Wine Portal. Nice people, nice setting, and on request, I presented a short talk on the future of the Israeli wine trade.
Most interesting part of the time I spent there was meeting with the owner-winemaker of a relatively new boutique winery, a man who has been a corem (grape-grower) for many years. His attitude: "I don't like grapes and I don't specially like wine. All that I care about is the money". Thus, a bit weary of selling all of his grapes to wineries "that make the real money", he opened his own. No formal training, no advisors, no consultants, but now he is, by heaven a winemaker.
I can easily understand and appreciate those who love wine and "catch the bug" venturing into an artisanal or boutique winery. I can also understand how (in France for example) after many generations in the fields, vintners are also winemakers. I guess I was just a bit shocked at this "All I care about is the money" attitude. As to the wines of this particular boutique, today offered far from ideal tasting situation. I will re-taste, blind of course, and report back in the quite near future.
On which note I continue sipping the Calvados that comes from a family that has no formal training and no consultants but that have been raising apples in the Pays d'Auge and there making Calvados for 280 years - in this case the 1968 Coeur de Lion of Christian Druin.