Thursday, May 17, 2012

Yarden Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld: Cool Summer Recipes from the Golan Heights

The region of Golan Heights is as famous for its wine as it is for farm-fresh produce. Yarden Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld, an avid cook, is as passionate about the produce of the region as he is about the fruit of the vines. One of Victor's signature summer dishes is Cold Zucchini and Cucumber Soup, which showcases some of the beautiful produce grown in the Golan Heights. Victor recommends Yarden white wines to pair with the soup. "This cold soup is a striking green color, delicious, refreshing and easy to make," explains Victor. "This is a great start to a summer lunch or dinner and goes perfectly with the Yarden Sauvignon Blanc or Yarden Gewurztraminer."

Whether enjoying the Yarden Chardonnay for a richer white with oak notes; the dry, crisp flavor of Yarden Sauvignon Blanc; or the subtle sweetness of Yarden Gewurztraminer, Yarden offers a full range of white wines If you're interested in a sample of summer whites from Yarden/Golan Heights Winery, or would like to receive additional recipes from the Golan Heights region of Israel, please email us at or

Cold Zucchini and Cucumber Soup

Recipe courtesy Golan Heights Winery Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld

Serves 4

1 lb Persian cucumbers, cut into chunks
1 lb fresh zucchini, cut into chunks
8 oz plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 large shallot
¼ cup white wine vinegar
Splash lime juice (to taste)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch fresh cilantro and/or dill
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Pinch sea salt
Jalapeno or other green hot chili pepper (optional)

In a blender, combine the cucumber and zucchini chunks. Add the yogurt, garlic, shallot, vinegar, lime juice and both the cilantro (or dill) and chili pepper (if using). While blending at high speed, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Continue to blend at high speed until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper. If too thick, you can thin with a bit of water or vegetable stock.

About Golan Heights Winery
Founded in 1983, the Golan Heights Winery is based in the small town of Katzrin. The weather in the Golan region is ideal for growing grapes with warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters, as evidenced by the snow-capped Mount Hermon to the north, Israel's highest peak. Elevations vary from 1,300 feet above sea level in the south, to 3,900 feet in the north, and soils vary from well-drained and airy basaltic soil, rich in minerals, to heavier and deeper soils, with a higher clay content. The topographic and climatic conditions in the Golan Heights are considered a rare asset by wine experts in Israel and abroad, contributing to a wide range of quality winemaking styles, overseen by Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld. In March 2011, Golan Heights Winery was awarded the World Wine Cup from VinItaly, the first winery from Israel ever to be named the best wine producer of the year from the international organization.

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