Stern Winery is a family-owned Galilee boutique winery, which is located in Kibbutz Tuval. Johnny Stern founded the winery in 2004 with the assistance and support of Ronnie Landau and Ran Bagam, all wine lovers who decided to follow a dream and create fine wine with a personal touch.
The winery is characterized by the close relationship of the Stern “family” – a large group of friends, relatives and acquaintances, who join in to work at the winery from the harvest in the “hot” season through the “quiet” season.
Stern Winery is a family-owned Galilee boutique winery, which is located in one of the peaks overlooking the Mediterranean Sea (Kibbutz Tuval).
Johnny Stern founded the winery in 2004 with the assistance and support of Ronnie Landau and Ran Bagam.
It was a dream come true for Johnny, who had before been making wine out of a small room in his home.
Each and every wine is made with lots of attention to detail, and most importantly with a great love for wine.
The first batch produced about 1,200 bottles. Winery operations quickly expanded and the winery moved to Kibbutz Gadot and then finally settled in Kibbutz Tuval, located in Tefen near Carmiel. Currently the winery produces approximately 25,000 bottles a year.
During the winery’s first few years, a large group of relatives, friends and acquaintances enlisted to help in all aspects of the wine making process. The Stern “family” was (and still is) very involved in the tastings, which determine future wine blends.
Over the years, the close friends transformed into a club called “Friends of the Winery”. Club members enjoy the winery newsletter, invitations to special events as well as other great incentives.
The Winery produces red wines from grapes harvested at quality vineyards in the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee and in 2012 the winery began to produce a white wine.
The varieties of grapes harvested in late summer allow Johnny, the winemaker, to make a collection of wines with diverse aromas and flavors, which have earned the winery recognition and many awards at local and international competitions.
Johnny Stern came to Israel from Brazil as a teenager with his family in 1971. They settled in Nahariya.
Johnny is a tall, red-haired, broad-shouldered man with a sweet smile and kind eyes.
Before opening the winery, Johnny worked as a sales manager of a chemical plant in the metal industry. But his great love of food and wine, combined with his connection to the world of chemistry, pushed him to attend a wine tasting course by one of Israel’s top wine critics. At the end of the workshop, Johnny decided to present a bottle of merlot that he made in 2003; however, it wasn’t acclaimed as expected which challenged Johnny even more, leading to his decision to establish a winery.
After three years, Stern Winery won its first (of many to come) medal, which particularly satisfying for Johnny as the judge who awarded this medal was none other than the man who criticized his wine in 2003.
Johnny fell in love with the winemaking process. He went on to study wine making (“cellar master”) at Tel Hai College and deepened his passion more and more through self-learning.
All of the winery achievements were made by Johnny himself, who is not only the owner, but also the winemaker, the bookkeeper and the salesman. Along the way, family and friends have always been there to help as needed.
The grapes from which the wines produced come to the winery from quality vineyards at the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee: Kidmat Tzvi, Ramot Naftali, Safsufa and Tuval.
The Winery has carefully selected these vineyards and Johnny is involved every step of the way – from development to treatment to harvest of the grapes.
Kidmat Zvi Vineyard
These vineyards are planted in the Golan Heights, north of the city Katzrin, on basalt soil at an altitude of about 540 meters above sea level. Low temperatures in winter (most winters have snow) and the southern slopes of the vineyards are ideal conditions for growing wine grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
Tuval Vineyard is located at 450 meters on the southwestern slopes of the ridge TEFEN at the Upper Galilee. The vineyard is planted on terra rossa soil with hard limestone deposits. The climate is temperate with a cool western breeze, blowing from the sea in the evening. The vineyard grows three grape varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot – with powerful flavors that are outstanding as a direct result of the excellent terroir.
Ramot Naftali Vineyard
The vineyard is planted in the upper and the lower valley of Kadesh on limestone soil. Low rainfall (about 450 mm per year), low temperatures at night and high temperatures in the daytime create special conditions for growing high quality red wine grapes for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.