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Israel at 75: Tura Estate Winery Brings Honor and Recognition to Israeli Wine

While I have already told the Tura story in detail in Fleishigs, Tura’s Vered and Erez Ben Saadon have once again proved that their story is like no other and contains more than a single article could ever cover. Tura Winery is considered one of the most respected family boutique wineries in Israel. It officially started as Erez Winery in 2003, with the first plantings in 1997 by Vered and Erez Ben-Sadon in Rechelim, Israel. Erez and Vered did not start off their careers making wine; rather, they grew grapes and outsourced them to other wineries like Carmel. Vered Ben Saadon, originally from the Netherlands, immigrated to Israel and settled in Samaria. Together with her husband Erez, they chose to live, grow, and produce in the Shomron because they feel a very strong connection to this particular area of Israel.

Back in 2003, the original winery was founded and appropriately named for its founder, Erez. This power couple is so dedicated to their craft that they have invested all their savings and wedding gifts into the winery, trying to pursue their dream. At some point between 1997 and 2003, it became difficult to sell their grapes to other wineries. There were some political concerns, particularly from consumers who struggled ideologically to support people living in the Judea and Samaria region of Israel. This small speed bump did not deter either Erez or Vered from continuing to achieve their dream! The decision was made for them to learn winemaking in a professional setting at Tel-Hai College in the Golan Heights, and for Vered to study at Ariel University in the Shomron.

It was very exciting when Transportation Minister Miri Regev, responsible for the commemorative events for the State of Israel’s 75th anniversary, recently notified Vered Ben Saadon, owner of Tura Winery in Rehelim, Samaria, that she had been selected to light a torch on Mount Herzl during the country’s Yom Haatzmaut celebrations. Despite facing numerous challenges, the family-owned winery has gained recognition as a top-tier boutique establishment, earning international accolades and enhancing the reputation of the Israeli wine industry. Regev praised the significance of Ben Saadon’s efforts, stating, “Vered Ben Saadon represents the resurgence of the vineyards that our ancestors planted in Samaria thousands of years ago. She embodies the spirit of a pioneer, farmer, entrepreneur, and an inspiring woman.”

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, personally contacted Ben Saadon to congratulate her. In a message to the Samaria residents, Dagan expressed, “On behalf of all Samaria residents, I would like to congratulate Vered Ben Saadon, one of the pioneers of the vineyard and wine revolution in Samaria, for being selected to light a torch on Israel’s 75th Independence Day. Vered and Erez Ben Saadon exemplify the pioneering spirit, idealism, and fulfillment of Samaria’s residents in this generation. Through unwavering dedication and substantial investments, sometimes even risking their lives, they spearheaded the vineyard and wine revolution in Samaria. Vered Ben Saadon’s recognition is a testament to her honor and a symbol of respect for the settlement in Samaria.”

This recognition by Mr. Dagan and Ms. Regev is just the beginning of the recognition of how important Israeli wineries in general, and Tura Winery in particular, are to the State of Israel, Samaria and the Jewish people. I cannot wait to see what the Ben Sadon family will accomplish next. L’Chaim!


Teaneck resident Yael Geller holds a Masters of Public Health from George Washington University and is a long-time wine enthusiast.

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