Some say that everyone has their own calling. One is born with "Doctor” written on his forehead and another is meant to be a fisherman. Nevo Hazan, a truck driver from Moshav Mata which is in the mountains of Jerusalem, thought that this was probably his destiny, to be a truck driver. But then in 2001 destiny brought him his aunt, Leah from Carmiel, who got sick with cancer. She needed to go through treatments in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital which is in their vicinity and Nevo and his wife Iris offered her to stay with them in their house for the duration of that difficult year. The aunt, who wanted to distract herself from thoughts about her illness started doing things energetically at the Moshav, and after cooking and baking, she decided to teach Nevo how to make wine, which was something that she tried to do in her own house in the north of the country. Together they moved some grape clusters and a plastic barrel to a deserted cellar which was in the area of their house and started to press the grapes. The children of the Hazan family also took an active part in the joyful activity. And lo and behold, the wine which was created and tasted was wonderful. After a year the aunt got better and in her excitement she told the couple that it was the wine making and the happiness and the love that was involved in it that helped her. Nevo realized that one bottle is an excellent sign for things to come and continued with the production.
"He started to read materials on the subject, learn and study inside Israel and abroad, and slowly has turned this hobby into a profession”, says Iris, Nevo’s wife and partner to the Nevo Winery. "Nevo has the soul of an artist and there is no doubt that the giving and great love that he invests in the process of wine making is felt in the wine that he produces”.
The cellar has turned into an authentic boutique winery in which the wine that is being produced is done so partially manually and partially with the help of modern equipment and in which one can have a guided tour.
The excellent grapes are grown in the Nir vineyard which is located in Moshav Mata. The wines that are currently sold in the Nevo Winery are Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot dry red wines from the grape harvest of 2009, and the wines of this series are named after streets in Jerusalem. The 2010 wines which will be launched soon were produced out of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes. Last year the family has planted its own vineyard in the Moshav.
A country style visitor center
"Over time we have hosted guests and offered them wine tastings on our lawn at our courtyard and have received positive feedbacks”, says Iris. About a year ago, Nevo and Iris have realized a modest dream and opened a classic country style visitor center in a structure which combines stone and wood and all of those who have visited it enjoyed the place’s enchanted atmosphere.
Iris and Nevo host their visitors with warmth and love and offer alongside the wines a variety of dishes which they prepare themselves. Oven baked bread, fish and meats, as well as the special and delicious salads that Iris makes so well.
According to the couple, "The wine has an authentic Jerusalemite aroma in which the mountains of Jerusalem, from where the wine originates, are felt well”. The wines can be purchased at the Nevo Winery during a visit or by a private order.
At the Nevo Winery visitor center are held pre-booked wine tastings, wine workshops, team building evenings, small family events and evenings for groups.