Wine Creator: Chapter 2 – Orna Lev, Adam Winery

Written By: Neomi Adar Hoffman

Translated By: Effie Striem

 

"Learn to listen, learn to observe, develop patience and trust in the raw material and the process". According to Orna Lev, vintner, winemaker and owner of Adam Winery, these are some of the significant benefits that the connection to the land, vineyard and wine brought to her. Another perk is the connection to the people and the creation, in her words "Wine makes strong connections between people and engaging in it brings lots of joy, that's the heart of the matter."


Wine was not Part of the Plan

Winemaking is Orna’s third career, an IDF retiree who served as an officer in the 8200 Intelligence Unit and graduated at the rank of Major. After several excursions outside the country, Orna made a professional conversion to architecture and interior design and worked in the field for two decades.


"Wine wasn’t a part of my plans, friends who took a wine course at 'Soreq Winery' got us excited about the endeavor and we found ourselves setting up 'Avidan Winery' together. After four harvests we retired and the story seemed to be behind us." (Seemed, being the key word).


Orna shares that there was something beyond the interesting and enriching experience in the new world that was revealed to her. She was enthralled by the female energy that characterized the work at the winery, two men and nine women and girls, who brought a lot of spirit and joy to work, together creating a strong memory that carry on with them.

"In 2013, Gal, my third daughter of the four, decided to take a wine course at Soreq and invited me to join. The good memories from my previous experience convinced me to go for it. I took a wine making course and then continued on a biennial course and was completely consumed. Ever since, I produce wine with love and an ever growing commitment.

Orna Lev - Adam Winery, by Neomi Adar Hoffman.


If you have to get something done, get it done right


Orna believes that, as in every field of life, "If you have to get something done, get it done right", be as deep and thorough as possible. "There is no way I will not be in charge of my own raw materials. After several years and experience in buying grapes from a variety of good growers, I realized that the best and most accurate thing for me to do is grow the grapes for myself. To get to know each vine closely, to be connected to the land and everything it brings, to connect to the weather in routine and in extreme situations, to know every detail and most importantly, to feel."

In 2015, a 5 dunam vineyard with 7 varieties was planted on my daughter's property in Ramat Zvi and as of 2019, all the winery's wines are produced only from the grapes that grow in our vineyard. Adam Winery, a small winery, produces 4,000 bottles a year with no thoughts of future expansion. We strive to deepen and accurate our work to specialization and development.


Enjoying the Creation


"The process is creative on many levels and in many aspects, there isn’t one specific point to put your finger on, it is a round and holistic cycle, it’s all tied together. I am fascinated by the combination of growing the vines, deciding what I want to achieve, what flavors I aspire to get and the accuracy of harvest dates. I am excited about the wine-making process, love the challenges along the way, enjoying the endless results of this ongoing lesson and accuracy of the work and in general, being in a constant state of learning is something that I find is necessary for me. Part of the fun of making wine at Soreq winery as a guest winery is the opportunity to be exposed to diverse and meaningful learning experiences.

Orna Lev Adam Winery, by Neomi Adar Hoffman.


Family and Friends


"The practice of wine-making initiates a lot of family get-togethers and creates special dynamics and moments to capture, brings everyone closer and deepens the relationship, the children are very involved, the grandchildren grow with the vineyard, it becomes a family creation which I am very happy and proud of.

In the process of making the wine, most of the time it is about the two of us: the wine, me and the dialogue between us, but even during this period my family accompanies the process and undertakes anything that needs to be done. It is not taken for granted how committed Roni, my husband, is despite my madness. I turned him into a farmer and he is with me every step of the way from growing and caring for the vineyard. Alongside the family are also the good friends who support, assist, hold the shears during pruning and harvest times, then enjoy and rejoice with us with the final product. There is no substitute for that!"


Aspire, step by step

It is very important for me to let the vineyard and terroir express themselves to the maximum, therefore in the last two years I have decided to focus on varietal red wines. A year ago I went one step further and dared to make a naturally fermented varietal Carginan from wild yeast from the vineyard, with no additives. The experiment was successful, it was great! We found a good and strong natural yeast.

The wonderful results led to that this year all the red varieties are naturally fermented and will attain in the bottle the flavor of the variety combined with the location, 100% terroir. A fascinating process and a crazy learning curve."


Orna Lev Adam Winery, by Neomi Adar Hoffman.


Occupation for the Soul

"I am involved in every part of the process, from the vineyard to the marketing of the wine. I have no interest in expanding the volume of production, I prefer to stay as we are and continue to be meticulous, experiment, dare and enjoy. This is a good and healthy occupation for the elderly! It ensures the continuation of dynamic and fascinating work. I'm in a process of constant learning, expanding the limits of my ability and living my life out of a deep and authentic connection to the work that fills me with energy, joy and meaning. "

 

Neomi Adar Hoffman - Director of Cultural Institutions and Content Creator.

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