Wine grapes
Wine grapesiStock

Tom Winery in the Itamar hills won the title "Best Winery" in the boutique winery category, as well as the "Double Gold" award (the highest title in the competition) for their "Cabernet Franc 2016" in the "Terra Vino" international wine competition.

The Terra Vino competition, held in Ashdod, judges over five hundred wines from all over the world. Each wine is examined by 30 judges who taste and grade each wine.

Silver, Gold, and Double Gold medals are awarded in the competition. In the boutique winery category (producing up to 10,000 bottles), the winery was awarded the highest mark of 93.6, making it the best winery in this category.

The winner - Tom Cabernet Franc 2016
The winner - Tom Cabernet Franc 2016PR

Tomer and Meital Pnini founded the Tom Winery that sits on Givat Arnon (Hill 777) on the Itamar ridge. "You could say we grow wine," says Tomer. "From the very beginning, we plan the best conditions for creating fine wines. Our growing isn't geared to quantity of fruit; quality is what's important to us."

Tomer explains the term terrore used in the wine industry: "The total conditions where the vines grow, the conditions of the unique weather in the Itamar region, the land in the hills of Itamar, and most importantly: The history and connection of the Jewish People to this place."

Tomer relates that at first they lived in the Golan in search of agriculture: "When we saw that everything was 'taken' we understood that G-d was pushing us to where we should be and thus we reached the hills of Itamar. When we started watering in all sorts of places, ancient vines began to sprout from the ground, just as the verse says: And you, O Israel, your branches shall give, and your fruit shall bear for the people of Israel, for it is soon in coming; When the people of Israel return to their land, the abundance that waits beneath the earth emerges and rises. And that's what we feel and see every day."

Itamar Mayor Hananel Elkayam said: "In the words of the vision of the Prophets: You shall yet plant vineyards in the mountains of Samaria; we see the lands of Itamar flourishing in the vineyards, groves, and fields. We send our greetings to the Pnini family on the occasion of the win and are happy they chose their place here. The residents of Itamar and the Itamar hills are part of the realization of a vision of pioneering and settlement together with agricultural life, and the country is also returning its bounty."

Cabernet Franc grapes on the vine
Cabernet Franc grapes on the vineiStock