Science has caught up with the industry

Uncorking wine’s secrets, Jerusalem Post
Liat Collins, 27/12/2012

American-born hi-tech entrepreneur Elie Wurtman, who has lived in Jerusalem since 1977, when he was eight years old, is not content with just observing the revival of Israeli viniculture, he’s helping develop it through his family’s boutique winery, called Bat Shlomo after the moshava near Zichron Ya’acov where it is located.

He likens the changes in the industry to the hi-tech example, learning from Silicon Valley and Napa Valley, whence Bat Shlomo viticulture and enology specialist Ari Erle hails.

“Science has caught up with the industry,” Wurtman says. “It’s become more scientific and professional.”

Nonetheless, the industry relies on the personal touch. When asked how he got into it, Wurtman replies: “It was a combination of a love of wine and Zionism – the desire to revitalize the agriculture started by the Baron Rothschild by creating an exceptional product.”

While he notes that Israelis on the whole are not big drinkers, there is an emerging market for boutique wineries that can provide something special. His Bat Shlomo label produced 14,000 bottles in 2011, focusing on white wines – particularly Sauvignon blanc, which is the less usual choice of wineries in the area.


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