How it All Began
The Odem Mountain Winery was founded by Edit and Michael Alfasi and their children in 2003, after much thought, deliberation and planning. We dreamed of establishing a family farming and tourism business, together with our children, who longed to root their lives in the Golan, out of a love of wine. All these came together – to create a boutique family winery specializing in unique, creative and quality wines.
But above all – delicious.
The winery was built at our home in Moshav Odem, in the heart of a beautiful oak forest in the northern Golan. It is the northernmost winery in Israel, 1,100 meters above sea level, surrounded by an impressive oak and pine forest. In winter the vineyard is wrapped in pure white snow, and in summer the weather is temperate and pleasant.
Adam Alfasi, the eldest Alfasi son, is our chief vintner.
Adam earned a BSc in Botany from the agricultural faculty of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an MSc in Viticulture and Encology, graduating Magna Laude.
Adam’s responsibilities range from the day to day duties wine production to researching and developing new rare vines, such as Nabyulaw and Gamma Noir. His skill in the art of mixing grapes to create superior wine quality comes from years of experience and from his thorough and intimate knowledge of many vine types. Adam’s precision and strict adherence to perfection ensures the superior quality that is recognized in wine competitions around the world. The winery has received countless first place awards over the years for best wine in its class.
The Wine-Producing Process
The process begins in winter with pruning the vines. This action actually produces a framework which will define the harvest potential in each area in terms of quantity on one hand, and quality on the other.
We continue to cultivate the vines by various landscape treatments throughout the spring and summer months. The end of summer brings the ripening season. The grapes accumulate flavors, color, aroma and sweetness. We follow the ripening process and choose the right harvesting time for each section separately.
Following manual harvesting, the grapes reach the winery. After sorting and pressing they pass on to the fermenting vessels for alcoholic fermentation.
The process continues with cold fermentation in our steel vats.Then the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 6-36 months.
The Vineyard’s Climate
The northern Golan Heights is the highest and coldest grapevine-growing region in Israel. The area is characterized by cold weather in winter and temperate weather in summer.Winters are rainy and snowy. Daytime temperatures reach 5-8 degrees, dropping to 3 to 5 below zero at night.
Summer days are brighter, with temperatures of 25-28 degrees. The nights can be foggy, with temperatures of 15-20 degrees. These are perfect weather conditions for growing grapevines. While the nights are foggy with high humidity, the days have weak sun radiation with dry air.
We are located 1100-1200 meters above sea level.
Rainfall varies from 1200-1700 mm per year.
Over the last few years, the winters have been warmer and less rainy. It doesn’t rain in summer. We have developed an irrigation system which waters the vineyards. The harvest in these conditions begins in mid-August (in warm years) and ends in the first week of November.
In these conditions, we get excellent results with these grape varieties:
White: Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Gamma Noir and Nebbiolo.
Climate and Topography
The combination of cold weather conditions and the nature of the rich basalt soil are the main factor for the growing of the grapevines.
The winery grows vineyards over 150 dunams(37 acres) in the highest growing areas in Israel, at an altitude of 1100-1200 meters above sea level, on a moderate slope, from north to south, on rich volcanic soil at the foot of Hermonit Mountain in the northern Golan. The cold climate allows the vines to remain dormant in winter and a unified awakening, which is the great advantage of growing on our terroir.
Our wines are sold in Israel at specialist wine stores, restaurants and luxury hotels.
Our main export destinations are the USA, Canada and China.
We export to European countries: UK, France, Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic.
The Far Eastern market has opened up recently, and is showing great interest in our wines, and in recent years we have been exporting to Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.