The history of the Tishbi winery & wineyards date back to the days of the renewal of the vine culture by the baron de Rothschild at the end of the XIXth century. Since those times the Tishbi family are vine growers before becoming also winemakers, so the "double" identity of Tishbi & Baron, while this second label is supposed to disappear soon.
Part of the wines are the product of the familial vineyards, part is made from grapes from the north of Israel and of the vineyards around Arad in the dry Negev and some from blends of these origins.
The company holds strongly it's image of a familial business, even if by size it's one of the very biggest producer in volume. Worth visiting their visitors center making it on the side of the friendly "conviviale" atmosphere : not an university or a temple, but a place to stop by with pleasure and enjoy a little glass while talking about the weather.
This is my personal opinion of a non specialist, but I feel interest especially in the ultra cheap and the luxury collections of the winery : about the cheap ones, the junior can be purchased by the liter at the winery for a modest 17 NIS (less than 4 US$) a liter and makes it well for everydays use. Same use for the surprisingly pleasant Cabernet-Petite Sirah blend, also nicely priced.
The luxury collection, Jonathan Tishbi's personal reserve, constitutes from what I had sampled until now one of the best option of israeli wines. More recent releases are from single vineyards. Not tried them yet.
With the new labels (the beautiful white wines), I had the feeling that the "Estate" collection also raised in quality. The Cabernet is a pleasant medium-body. I fell in love with the Pinot-noir, dense and delicate on the nose and one the palate. A first release, bravo !
Accidentaly the JT Cabernet Personal Reserve 1998 was the occasion of one of the most singular episodes of my oenologic experience on Christmas 2002, when I got this bottle as a present while I prepared the same for the end of our festive diner ! (the wine was just great)...