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Israel’s Flam and Tzora Wineries Buy in Bordeaux

Owning an estate in Bordeaux had been the longtime dream of friends Golan Flam of Flam Winery and Eran Pick of Tzora Vineyards, both winemakers in Israel’s Judean Hills region. After five years of hunting, the partners have purchased Château Tour du Haut-Moulin, a cru bourgeois estate in Bordeaux’s Haut-Médoc region on the Left Bank.

“We looked at so many properties. Some were too big, others too small; many lacked the right terroir, but this estate—a gravel soil plateau near the Gironde river—has everything we are looking for,” said Gilad Flam, Golan’s brother and partner in the winery they founded together in 1998.

Château Tour du Haut-Moulin Enjoys a Prime Location on the Left Bank

Established in 1870, Château Tour du Haut-Moulin has 24 acres of vines, which Flam says have been meticulously farmed by the current owners, sixth-generation Lionel and Carol Poitou, who will stay on to help manage viticulture. The property lies on the banks of the Gironde between Margaux and St.-Julien.

According to Eran Pick, Israel’s first Master of Wine, the opportunity to produce wines from “the most iconic region in the world” will be the perfect complement to his work as the technical director at Tzora Vineyards, the winery where he has worked since 2006. Under his direction, the estate is making some of the finest wines in Israel. Tzora and Flam arepart of the Judean Hills Quartet, a group of four like-minded vintners crafting wine in the region’s prized terra rossa–limestone soils.

The power team at Tour du Haut-Moulin also includes Burgundy-trained Tzora winemaker Dan Sheinman and Vincent Dupuch, the acclaimed Bordeaux-based enology consultant. The timing of the harvest should work in their favor, as well. When the grapes have all been picked in Israel, around mid-September, the team can head to Bordeaux, when the harvest is beginning. And Paris is just a four-hour flight from Tel Aviv, he explained. Their first vintage will be 2024.

[article-img-container][src=2024-03/ns_israel-in-bordeaux-winemakers-031324_1600.jpg] [credit= (Courtesy Château Tour du Haut-Moulin)] [alt= Israeli winemakers Gilad and Golan Flam and Eran Pick (left to right) stand together in the Judean Hills.][end: article-img-container]

Pick has long benefited from Bordelais expertise, having worked at Tzora with consulting winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet of Château Pétrus. Now, Pick and his partners will have the opportunity to apply some of their own Israeli viticultural aptitude in Bordeaux. “We want to learn from Bordeaux and also bring our knowledge,” Flam said. In recent years, winegrowers around the world—including those in Bordeaux—have looked to Israel for new technologies and innovative solutions to manage vineyards in drier, warmer climates. Israel was a pioneer in modern drip irrigation techniques, for example.

“Bordeaux has learned from us, since they are dealing with drought and hotter years,” said Flam. “We are in a period of change, and we can’t farm the way past generations did. It’s very exciting to play in Bordeaux—to exchange this knowledge. There is big potential in the Médoc, and this château is very underrated when you see the high quality of the vineyards. I think we have the chance to make really great wine.”

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