I started Liquid Kosher in 2009 and never thought about importing wine from Israel. Our brand focused on high end French wines, and Israeli wines were not quite on our radar. Finally in 2018, we were matched with Ya’acov Oryah Wines. I thought it would be 10 more years until we found another Israeli winery that had similar values to ours: Small production wines, Made by visionary winemakers, Creating wine from Israel that plays to the land’s many strengths, instead of trying to replicate a generic style in an unfriendly climate. We found that all that and more with Itay Lahat, a winemaking visionary and master of terroir.
Itay is a resident of the western Galilee region, and focuses his efforts on making “local” wines, using his intimate knowledge of the area. His most precious and beloved fruit comes form the storied El-Kosh vineyard, which is pictured above. Itay’s wines have a unique character, with a consistent style and identity. These delicately made wines are unapologetically restrained and balanced, with a low percentage of alcohol, high natural acidity, and deliberate dryness not often found in Israeli wine. Like many cooler climate, Mediterranean wines, Itay Lahat wines are especially food friendly.
I spent a long time getting to know Itay during the months of conversation before we mutually agreed to try Lahat Wines in the US. He is truly a man of understatement, preferring to let his results do the real talking. He is true to his family roots, naming one of his best wines “Laichter,” as an homage to his family’s European last name, while maintaining Hebrew writing on the wine labels, to clearly identify himself, and his wines, as Israeli. Like the vineyards he maintains and nurtures, Itay Lahat is firmly rooted in The Land.
Itay has been a major behind the scenes player in the Israeli wine industry for over 20 years. After working at renowned wineries in Australia and France, Itay became the winemaker and viticulturist at Barkan Winery. Eventually, he left to consult for dozens of notable brands within Israel, with the purpose of helping their quality be on par with international standards. When he is not constantly serving his numerous clients in their wineries and vineyards, or making his own wine, Itay teaches winemaking at three different universities in Israel.
With his passion for the terroir of Israel, specifically the Western Galilee region, Itay felt it was finally time to channel his passion for Rhone varietals into a winery under his own name. And while many of the cult/garagiste wines in Israel are not kosher, we are fortunate that these inaugural releases were in fact produced under kosher supervision. These wines are all small production, highly sought after wines, and are all extremely well regarded amongst the Israeli [non-kosher] wine press. We are very excited and lucky to welcome such a unique and prestigious brand to our selective portfolio, and we are excited to see what the talented and ever humble Itay Lahat comes up with next.
2018 Lahat “Lavan” White Blend
2018 Lahat “Laichter” White Blend
2018 Lahat “GSM” Red Blend
2018 Lahat “Adom” Red Blend
2018 Lahat “Syrah” Single Vineyard
Lahat Wines are available in the USA, Exclusively through Liquid Kosher.
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