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The Family Behind Tishbi Wine

It's nearly the end of the big Summer holiday...we could all probably do with some wine!

Tishbi vineyards. Courtesy of the Tishbi Family for Zichron Yaakov Tourism

As we write, we are in full harvest season for Israel's wine. We thought it would be a great time to get to know some of the history of some well known vineyards!

Tishbi is one of the better known wines - enhanced by the reputation of their delicious restaurant in Zichron Yaakov.

History of Tishbi

In 1882, Michael and Malka Chamiletzki first set foot upon the land of Zichron Yaacov, after emigrating from Lithuania.  He was chosen by Baron Edmund de Rothschild to plant and develop vineyards in the area. The family settled in nearby  Shefeya, which is today surrounded by numerous vineyards, and began to cultivate the earth. And thus began the close  and harmonious bond between the family and the earth and vineyards they planted and nurtured. In 1925, the family  hosted the famous poet, Chaim Nachman Bialik. In honor of their warm hospitality, the poet proposed a new, Hebrew  family name: “Tishbi” – an acronym standing for “a resident of Shefeya in Israel”.

Like his parents before him, Yisrael his wife Mina Tishbi, also spent their entire lives growing and caring for their vineyards and olive trees, as well as making and selling cheeses and dairy products, made from the milk of their own cows. At the beginning of the 80s, the wine industry underwent a severe crisis and the price of grapes dropped drastically. As a result of the crisis, Jonathan Tishbi decided to open a small winery of his own. At first, the winery was named “Baron Wine cellars”, after the Baron de Rothschild, and was later changed to “Tishbi”.

The Tishbi Family. Courtesy of the Tishbi Family for Zichron Yaakov Tourism

Today, the entire family works at the winery. Jonathan's wife, Nili, manages the winery store and Visitors Center. His son, Golan, is the winemaker and Vice President of the winery. When they decided to set up a distillery at the winery, he traveled to the Cognac area in France, studied the alambique (alembic) distillation process, and began producing their brandy, which is patiently smoked in oak barrels. This brandy has brought them numerous awards both in Israel and abroad, along with the Best Brandy title at the IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition), held in London. Jonathan's eldest son, Michael, is a lawyer and also takes care of vineyard growth and cultivation. Their daughter, Oshra, traveled  extensively abroad and then decided to open the global market up to the winery, establishing the café and wine store in  Zichron Yaacov and creating a line of gourmet food products: “Fine Foods by Oshra Tishbi”. Efrat, Michael’s wife helps  design the labels for the winery and raises the next generation, Dan and Yoav Tishbi. Karen, Golan’s wife, graces the  winery with her functional and decorative ceramic art, and raises their three children, Shai, Nadav and Adi.

The combined effort and dedication of the family bring just the right balance of professionalism and warmth to this wonderful winery

For the Tishbi's - family is everything.

The restaurant has two seating areas – a closed-in porch with long tables, seating up to 50 guests, and an open-air area, shaded by grapevines, which overlooks some of the Tishbi Estate vineyards, with tables seating from 4-8 guests. Each area can accommodate up to 100 guests. The winery offers guided wine tours (in Hebrew and English), including informative and interesting explanations and information about the world of wine. The tour includes a viewing of our impressive copper and brass alembic brandy distiller from Cognac, France – the only one of its kind in the Middle East. The tour concludes with wine tasting.

With permission from the Tishbi Family.

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