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Bittuni?

Any of the Israelis on here know this grape? Not known in Lebanon as far as i know, unlike Marawi (presumably Merwah).

I know very little about it - only that Recanati wines bottled both it and the Marawi, but a quick skim through Israeli websites suggests that it is a local red eating varietal, possibly originally from near Hebron, and might be named after a village near Ramalla in Palestine.

One of the writers said "In its flavour it is somewhere between Pinot and Grenache, and delicate on the palate… Mellow/light tannins, it’s light and delicious, with a pale hue… delicately floral and mineral and truly suitable for the hot Israeli weather '. The writer described the wine as 'amazing '… Only 2300 bottles made, ABV 12%…

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Some available in the BBR sale, if anyone is interested. I really enjoyed the Recanati “Wild” Carignan (which is clearly a very different style if wine!) I think they buy in the grapes (and those for the Marawi) from a Palestinian grower.

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Caveat Emptor

As long as you are aware that when you purchase either Recanati Marawi or Bittuni you are participating in a very unequal economic relationship between an Israeli winery and a Palestinian farmer. No doubt there are plenty of unequal economic relationships in winemaking (South Africa or the South of France might offer good examples), but Recanati have been extremely vague & disingenuous about the exact relationship between themselves, Ariel University and the farmer(s) involved. Never mind clean wine - how about transparent winemaking?

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Thanks for the input. Of course i had no idea about this. It’s bought now, so nothing i can do about it, but had i known this before… Guess what i can do is email BBR.

As it is BBR own stock, you should be able to cancel without any problem.

Already out for delivery :slightly_frowning_face:

It occurred to me that whilst @cgoldin is no doubt right about the inequality here - and some! - there may be a reason why Recanati is less than forthcoming about their relationship with the Palestinian source/farmer(s). There may well be a mutual agreement not to disclose specific details - Palestinians dealing and trading with Israelis are not exactly loved by their community, and there may be an element of religion here as well, as the grapes - which apparently are usually sold as eating grapes - are obviously here turned to alcohol - frowned upon by a Muslim community.

These are all my assumptions, and I may well wide of the mark (and one has to tread so carefully talking about these relationships, as you can imagine!), but felt I had to voice it. :slight_smile:

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When I first heard this explanation aired I was unconvinced

Recanati have cited this in the past as a reason for non-disclosure but I’m sceptical given the ENORMOUS economic dependency that already exists between Palestinian workers and the Israeli economy. I don’t see Palestinian labourers and blue-collar workers getting ostracised by their communities because they earn their living in Israel or Israeli controlled territories.

The alcohol argument is hard to verify since I’ve no evidence either way that Islamic law prohibits this. I doubt it is prohibited given the long history of monastic wine production in the Palestinian community

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While i don’t doubt it’s a highly unequal relationship, isn’t almost every relationship between Israeli and Palestinian? And presumably the grower gets more for the grapes than they would get selling them as table grapes in Hebron?

I guess at this point i attempt to put politics aside for once and enjoy the wine :roll_eyes:

Well, my late father was working with Palestinians (he owned a water purification/filtration company) and the water bottling company he was dealing with was adamant that they did not want to publicise the relationship. This was in the late 1990’s, so things may have changed since, but I suspect not much. The fact that there is an economic inequality though is unquestionable. Not only economic of course, human rights-related, not to mention other freedoms we all take for granted.

The term ‘monastic’ however, surely belongs to the Christian, not the Muslim population…?

I am venturing no deeper into this… talk about fuel, oxygen and heat… :fire:

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I hope we can distinguish between economic dependency and structural inequality - I accept dependency (the Palestinian farmer has a limited market for his wine grapes etc and is dependent on selling into the Israeli market) and structural inequality… (Or maybe not - I’m quickly out of my depth here).

I have drunk both of the Recanati offerings in the past (I preferred the Marawi which had some attractive faults if you know what I mean) and it took me a while to register the extent of the cultural appropriation (to lob in yet another loaded term) involved in this little project and so I now don’t drink it. There’s plenty of other wine being produced here without that level of complexity not found in the glass itself.

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On this, we’re definitely in agreement! :slight_smile:

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I’m suggesting that the very long wine production history in modern era Palestine by monastic orders was not dependent on solely Christian land ownership or were the monks historically limited to making wine from only grapes grown on Christian owned land?

Surely someone in the community knows the answer to that question???

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And lots of other loaded, politically complicated and morally testing questions??? I’m waiting! :face_with_monocle:

Replies only from those with PhDs in Islamic Law, Ottoman Land Rights and Wine Production accepted - now there’s an MW thesis subject!

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That’s not very usual to sell “wine grapes” for consumption as table grapes. Whilst Vitis Vinifera grapes can be consumed , I believe the majority of table grapes are grown from non Vitis Vinifera species purely because of the different characteristics table grapes have .

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Wine grapes are almost always much tastier, though (speaking from experience here :smiley:)

Tough skins, of course, but in a market that (unlike ours) appreciates flavour over squeamishness about skins and pips, why would there not be a market? Personally I’d buy wine grapes like a shot, unlike the bland table grapes we get!

They may also be cheaper than the more impressive-looking Israeli table grapes :grinning:

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Indeed, not very common at all. The one famous Vitis Vinifera exception that comes to mind is Chasselas.

Irsai Oliver (an aromatic white) and Kiralyleanyka (aka Feteasca Regala) are two local white varieties that eat well.

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