[GOLAN HEIGHTS] Award winning prime time actress and star of Switched at Birth, Lea Thompson was joined by a host of TV stars including C.S. Lee, star of the cult TV series Dexter, and Anson Mount, lead actor in Hell on Wheels, as they toured Israel to discover the hidden gems of the Holy Land.
After a busy few days travelling from army bases to the more popular tourist attractions, the group was treated to a VIP tour of the Golan Heights Winery to discover Israel’s award winning wine. “We wanted to bring the celebrities to the winery to show them that Israel is more than conflict,” explained Irwin Katsof, Director of “America’s Voices in Israel” who brought the stars to Israel. “We have spent an evening drinking amazing wine, eating a fabulous spread and showcasing such a positive aspect of Israel.”
Joining the trip was emerging star Zoey Deutch, star of the much anticipated movie adaptation of the New York Times best-seller “Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters” (directed by Harvey Weinstein). For Deutch this was her first time in Israel and a chance to leave LA and explore her Jewish heritage before she begins the mammoth task of promoting her new movie. “I love it here in Israel. We went out last night in Tel Aviv, we’ve met so many interesting people and now we taste such amazing wine,” she enthused.
Kitted out in his Israel Defense Forces baseball cap and reveling in the Israeli wine world was “Dexter” star, C.S.Lee. Admitting to being an amateur wine enthusiast, he spent the evening chatting to the Israeli wine experts and bonding over the differences between Californian and Israeli wine. “The Yarden Syrah Tel Phares is by far my favorite,” he exclaimed. “I normally drink Napa wines but I love the Israeli wines I am tasting here.”
Vivian Bang, most famous for her role in Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man” and as Susan Sullivan in “Sullivan & Son” agreed with Lee. “These wines are really yummy,” she grinned. Having just travelled to the winery from the Syrian border just a few kilometers away, she reflected on the unique position of the winery. “In America, we try and control our environment but here it is simply impossible and Israelis seem to just go with the flow, they don’t freak out,” Bang explained. “As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, Israelis make lemonade….or wine!”
The stars were brought to Israel by American Voices in Israel, (part of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations). The star-studded trip is sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, El Al Israel Airlines, as well as the David InterContinental & Inbal Hotels.Pictures: Picture 1- Dexter star C.S Lee prepares to pop open a bottle of the Yarden Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine. Picture 2- Vivian Bang in the winery’s Barrel room Picture 3- Golan Heights Winery, wine expert Roi Yaniv pours Lea Thompson a glass of the Yarden Heights Wine Picture 4- C.E. Lee, Anson Mount, Lea Thompson and Zoey Deutch drink up! Picture 5- Zoey Deutch makes a toast with the Yarden Blanc de Blanc ALL PHOTOS: Photographer, Adi Peretz