I had the honor of hosting the Bartholomew family from Florida last week for a lovely tour leaving from Haifa. While we guide tours all over the country, from the Negev Desert to the Golan Heights, we’re based in the lovely town of Haifa upon Mt. Carmel. We are always happy to leave from our hometown so guests can experience on of Israel’s best kept secrets, as well as shoot strait into wine country. This tour took us to the ancient crusader capital of Acre in the morning in lieu of an ‘all wine’ tour. These are some of our favorite tours, allowing us to mix up ‘classic’ sites and our favorite wineries.
Ancient Acre, Contemporary Islam
Acre is a mix of Islamic culture, home to one of Israel’s most powerful mosques, and the ancient Crusader sites that attract visitors by the thousands, such as the Hospitalar citadel, underground tunnels, and courtyards where knights and kings once occupied as they ruled over the holy land nearly a thousand years ago. We walked, talked, explored and spent a lovely two hours experiencing the modern and ancient all together.
Bring on the Wine!
Then we headed into the wind and rain that held out just long enough for us to enjoy a quick drive into wine country. We were hosted by Jonny Stern of Stern winery as well as Yair from Kishur winery. I wont get into details of what we drank (a lot of reds, whites, and roses 🙂 nor which varietals were the most outstanding. As our philosophy goes, the wine is just the excuse for some great conversation and new friends. Jonny is a booming presence and a bit of a gentle giant (he’s 6ft 4inch) with a smile that crosses his face and is infectious. Yair has a more dry sense of humor, giddy to be able to drink wine on the job and share the important work this winery provides to people with special needs.
We celebrated good wine, new friendships, and our shared appreciation for the subtle joys of enlightened travel. I look forward to hosting more guests as our winter season gears up and for now I wish a Happy Holiday season to one and all. L’chayim!!!!
From wine country with love,