This is a winery that does not like to be described as a boutique winery but as a small winery managed by a family. We believe that our success is mainly the result of our personal involvement in all aspects of the business – from viticulture to winemaking and from management to distribution. We have managed to create a very close-knit team
Eli Ben Zaken
After being born in cosmopolitan Alexandria and educated in England, Italy and Switzerland, Eli moved to Israel, first working in agriculture and then later in the restaurant business. Eli has no formal winemaking education, and so when he had to decide whether or not to turn Domaine du Castel from a hobby into a formal business he was faced with a formidable challenge. Eli recalls how a sentiment voiced by Winston Churchill was very apt at this time as he felt as though he “were walking with Destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial … I was sure I should not fail” (Winston Churchill, May 1940).
Eytan Ben Zaken- COO
For many years, Eytan managed the family's renowned Mamma Mia restaurant in Jerusalem. When the family decided to close the restaurant in order to concentrate all efforts into making wine, he joined the Castel team.
Ariel Ben Zaken- CEO
Ariel was the first to follow Eli’s passion for wine. After his service as a paratrooper unit commander in the Israel Defense Force, he spent two years in Burgundy where he worked for Michel Picard at Domaine Emile Voarick and studied winemaking in Beaune.
Ilana Ben-Zaken- Export Manager
Ilana, the eldest daughter born to the Ben Zaken family in Geneva Switzerland. She studied business administration and her family ran the restaurant Mamma Mia until closing at the end of 2002. Ilana integrates her business as director of export and procurement of the winery and her extreme hobby, kite-surfing, scuba diving and surfing