Pesach: Great Wine with heart!

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Pesach: Great Wine with heart!

Louisa Walters uncorks a bottle of Pesach’s kindest!

Louisa Walters is Features Editor at the Jewish News and specialises in food and travel writing

How things have changed. Not so long ago, Israel was not on any gourmet’s list for great food and wine, but now it is the hottest ticket on the planet for  the former, and evolving at a rate of knots with the latter. There are now more than 250 wineries in Israel, many of them boutique, making wines of exceptional quality.

Dismiss with those preconceptions that Israeli wines are just of the sweet red variety. From the Negev in the south, to the Golan Heights in the north, there’s an impressive string of vineyards and an even more impressive range of wines. There are family-owned wineries, organic  vineyards, wineries offering wining and dining experiences… And then there’s the Maia winery, which is very special indeed.

Founded in 2012 by Roy Itzhaki, the MAIA winery is situated in Kfar Tikvah – Israel’s Village of Hope. This was the first village in the world for people with disabilities, established in 1964 by Dr Siegfried Hirsch, who was dissatisfied with the available options for his developmentally disabled stepdaughter.

He created a place where people with special needs could lead active, productive lives. This is the village from which MAIA, sister label to the longer-stablished Tulip winery, employs the majority of its staff.

The employees of these wineries have a wide range of mental health issues.  But don’t think for a minute that this makes anything but a positive contribution to the output. This is top quality winemaking combined with a humanitarian role in the community, and it has won many international awards.

MAIA employs 45 staff from the village and hopes to increase this, and up to 50 percent of the profits from some of the MAIA wines are given to the village to help support it.

This boutique winery produces kosher wines that are created to perfectly compliment the Israeli-Mediterranean spirit, climate and culture, fragrance and flavours. The production process is meticulous, from the hand picking and hand sorting of the grapes from top quality, well-established vineyards, right through to the bottling and the application of the artistic labels.

To fully realise its vision and guarantee the quality of its creation, the winery sought  two expert winemakers from Greece to join their team. Professors Yiannis Paraskevopoulos and Costas Bakiastas, who specialises in Mediterranean grape varietals and vines, combined their Mediterranean expertise with winemaker David Bar-Ilan’s Israeli roots to found this very special label.

  • Maia Wines are available from 32°-34° Wines, specialist importers of boutique Israeli wines. Go to with the code JN2019 for special deals for Jewish News readers
Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: