“No-doubt everyone has their own perception of the Middle East; but politics aside, through Terra Sancta I not only want to introduce the products to the U.S., but also help people understand the importance of the Levant [Eastern Mediterranean] today. Not a lot of people realize this is where wine originally came from. It’s where beer came from. The role this part of the world has played in shaping the beverage industry as we know it today is grossly underestimated.” Jason Bajalia, Terra Sancta
Food and wine unite people because it’s normal. Let me say that again: eating and drinking is a normal past-time of all peoples, regardless of political machinations.
This particular program is not about politics, although I would be remiss if I didn’t state that politics can and do play roles in our daily lives, not just in our food and wine choices. But this program is not about politics, it’s about reintroducing an ancient area of winemaking--quite possibly the original regions for winemaking on the planet! And why it is so important to understand it.
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term is used to refer to modern events or states in the region immediately bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea: Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.
Largest cities: Damascus; Amman; Aleppo; Baghdad; Beirut; Gaza; Jerusalem; Tel Aviv
Languages: Levantine Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Armenian, Circassian, Greek, Kurdish, Ladino, Turkish, Domari
Commonalities in the Levant
Regardless of many differences, the people living in this region have many similarities that unite them culturally as a part of the Eastern Mediterranean. Visit any household or restaurant and you will assuredly find mezze (appetizers on small plates), indigenous spirits, strong, dark coffee and wine. Long before the vine reached Europe, grapes were cultivated here. In fact, winemaking was ingrained in the history, religion, folklore of this ancient region--it was THE lifestyle.
Through close relationships the Bajalia brothers maintain with their suppliers, they continue to invest countless hours speaking with growers and businesses in the Eastern Mediterranean, and shaping the strategic growth of Terra Sancta in the U.S.
The Levant is a fascinating wine region with a perfect climate, elevations, terroir, indigenous varieties and modern technology in vineyards and wineries. The wine industry compares New World and Old World wines. This region represents the Ancient World.
Twitter hashtag #winestudio 9-10pmET
Week 1 - August 7 - Terra Sancta and Jason Bajalia @TerraSanctaCo
Week 2 - August 14 - Introduction to Cremisan Winery and the Idea of Origin
Tasting: Cremisan Wine Estate 2016 West Bank Dabouki
Week 3 - August 21 - Leading the Ancient Indigenous Movement
Tasting: Cremisan Wine Estate 2014 West Bank Baladi
Week 4 - August 28 - Ancient Terroir
Tasting: Cremisan Wine Estate West Bank 2016 Hamdani /Jandali