I'm happy to share with you details about an agricultural trip in the Samarian Mountains that includes a wonderful family activity for Hannukah, all within an hour's drive from Tel-Aviv.
Trip Agenda Options
Israel's Lookout at Peduel
Israel's Lookout at Peduel
A previous trip to Samaria also began with this breathtaking lookout so you can obtain more ideas for traveling in the region from the previous post. This time the guide talked a bit more about olive and wine growing in preparation for the remainder of the day. Samaria was known as an area where the production of high quality olive oil flourished in ancient times. The ancient winepresses and olivepresses date back to the 7th century BCE indicating settlement from this period.
This is the first time that the Tura Winery is opening its oil press to visitors and just in time for Hannukah too! Vered and Erez Ben Saadon, the owners extend their welcome you.
The olive press will be opened for the first time and a limited number of tours will be held in advance (see details below). In parallel, the olive oil from the new olive harvest that is taking place these days is in the process of being launched. The new olive oil will be available on site in addition to being sold to the general public at premium stores.
The olive groves from which olive oil is produced are located on the banks of the Shilo river. The olives are grown on about 300 dunams of rocky terra rosa soil and enjoy a cool mountain climate combining 600 mm of rain with a healthy sun. Tura's olive varieties include: Piquel Barnea, Arbakina and more recently, Syrian and Pisholin. As Erez and Vered explained, the agricultural location together with the selected varieties and strict oversight of the process enabling them to extract the oil immediately after picking without delays ensure the high quality of the extra virgin olive oil.
As befits a boutique management, the olive grove serves for the production of extra virgin olive oil with cold pressing at a pH level of up to 0.3. Tura's boutique olive oil is equipped with the latest technology in the field and produces about 35 tons of extra virgin olive oil every year.
The Tura Winery is located in the town of Rehelim and the olive grove and press are only a few minutes drive away near Ancient Shilo where some of the historical olive presses, wine presses and pottery vessels were found. As luck would have it, I visited Tel Shilo last Hannukah and you are welcome to read more about what you can see there in my previous post in case you wish to extend your visit.
Alongside the Tura Winery and the olive press, there is an intimate visitors' center that can host up to 55 people for wine and olive oil tasting or full meals. You can order a kosher meat / dairy meal in advance by appointment and you can also purchase the boutique products at special prices. The Kosher certificate is provided by Badatz Beit Yosef, OU, Rabbi Unger and Rabbi of Rechelim.
Prices: A can of 400mL olive oil - 40 NIS A bottle of 750 mL olive oil - 42 NIS A tin of 2 L olive oil - 89 NIS A tin of 5 L olive oil - 189 NIS
Hannukah Tours: 3-6 Dec 2018 between 8:00-17:00. During Hannukah, at the height of the olive harvesting season, you are invited to learn more about the entire process of olive oil production including free tastes of the quality oil produced at the olive press of Tura. All visits including Hannukah are by reservation only.
Contact Details: Tura Winery: 02-6508882 Vered Ben Saadon 052-7966613
This post is all inclusive. We enjoyed the meat meal and warm hospitality of the Tura visitors center.
The nearest hotel to Ancient Shiloh is ‘Eshel Hashomron Hotel’ in Ariel.
The trip filled up half a day. This is what it looks like on the map:
Happy Hannukah! Talma
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