Sunday, March 8, 2009

Alex Haruni , Proprietor Of DALTON Winery ( Hagalil ) In Israel Visits Cleveland Park Wines & Tastes His " New " Vintages

It was back in 1999 sometime that I first became aware of the name DALTON in Hagalil, Israel. I knew of kosher wines of course having sold many in the twenty plus years already in the Washington D.C. wine business but I had as yet never heard of DALTON much less tasted any of it's wines.

This all changed this eventful day that a rep came bearing with him samples of DALTON. He had with him then a red blend and he offered us at MacArthur Beverages ( Addy Bassin's ) a taste which I accepted and the rest is history. I fell pretty hard for this impressive red with so much extra flavor and taste to offer and all beautifully balanced. The toasty barrel bright red flavors that were nicely wrapped in layer after layer to bathe one's tongue in a sweet cherry/strawberry/raspberry flavoring cushioned and buffered so seamlessly in softer-toned ( no sharp tannins ) of oak was enough to make me want to stop just about anything I was doing and luxuriate and become relaxed, happy and expansive in one glass of this red DALTON wine that might very well lead to a second and perhaps, mood and situation being whatever they might into a third glass! I liked it, my attention was on it and I was intrigued that the label was all in Hebrew and that I could not decipher more than a word or two. What was this delicious red and how could we get some quickly?!?

We did, I ordered a case for the store even though it was Woody's domain and sold it pretty much as soon as it arrived. I loved introducing it to customers then at MacArthur beverages. It started something beautiful and I still remember it vividly today, Tuesday March 10th, 2009 here at home in northern Virginia at 8:12 AM before I go walk our dog before going to work in Washington D.C. to sell and educate more people about all the wonders of wine which certainly include Israel and DALTON.

I am sorry that I do not have any DALTON currently at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits in Washington D.C. where I manage the wine department. It comes out of New York state and is sold by Arabanel there and we do not have a distributor here from which to buy it. The last time we tried we ran into difficulties and had to refuse the order because there were not D.C. permits with it. They did not understand that they were needed, unfortunately. That was both ours and our customers' loss. We hope that Arabanel will soon find a local distributor to sell their wines so that we may again buy them legally. I know from our old rep Steve Mostow that they were being to shown to Republic distributors here in Washington D.C. We'll keep our fingers crossed that they decide to represent them here.

Veteran Ed Malin brought Alex Haruni and Arabanel's owner/founder down from New York to visit us at Cleveland Park on September 8th, 2005. I was thrilled to meet Alex and to tell him this story I have just written above as well to taste some more of his wines. This is what Alex wrote before leaving the store on this his first visit : " Tony , It was a pleasure to be in your store.I hope to return very soon. Good luck with the wines ". Alex Haruni, 8 Sept '05.

DALTON makes a whole series of wines from the basic red and white dry blends to a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Barbera. There are more of course but I cannot remember them all off the top of my head just now. We have sold them all here at Cleveland Park Wines and Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 ).

Many of our customers have already known these wines having served them at their meals already. Some had already heard of DALTON but not tried them yet. It was fun to introduce them where we could and the response was almost always positive with people returning for more and disappointed when we were out.

Alex did in fact return a second time and it was fun to get him to sign the bottles I still had of Shiraz and Barbera and the white blend I believe? I'd love for you to return sometime Alex and do an in-store wine-tasting with our customers. That would be a real treat. I'd also love to hear from you and discover what is new with you and your wines. Please respond to this blog if you read it and have comments to add.

For more technical information go to : Noam Building 23 Tuval St. Ramat Gan 52521 Israel, Dalton Industrial Park, Merom Hagalil 13810. Tel : +972 3 751 8922 Fax : +972 3 751 9305 ).

I think I got some good pictures here of everyone, especially Alex. Hope you enjoy them.

Cheers Alex and thanks for stopping by to visit and taste. It's been almost three and a half years since this first visit and I look forward to catching up with you again and selling your excellent wines again. TONY

Here are the pictures that I took of Alex back in 2005. I hope you enjoy them. Cheers, TONY

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