Making wine in Israel is strictly kosher

on 21/02/12 at 5:04 pm

Wine
Although even experts cannot tell the difference in the perfumes or flavours of Kosher and non-Kosher wines in a blind tasting, there are tedious and clear-cut religious differences in the wine making process that must be understood and followed diligently, writes our regular contributor John Salvi MW who was recently in Israel for several days, visiting wineries like Barkan and Vitkin.
After spending several days tasting in Israel, including three enchanting days as a guest of Barkan Winery and a visit and tasting at Vitkin Boutique Winery, it was fascinating to learn the difference between the process of making kosher and non-kosher wines and the rules and regulations that surround the former. In comparative blind tastings in Bordeaux, experts are known to be unable to tell the difference between kosher and non-kosher wines, including me. This is hardly surprising as they are fundamentally the same wines.

The only difference is the religious rules that must be obeyed diligently, nay religiously in wine making process.

Women are a no-no

For the sake of this article it should be clarified that by Rabbinical definition, a religious Jew also described as an observant Jew, is a person who is uncompromising in his observance of all areas of Jewish Sabbath-law (kashrut) and other religious practices.  He is so approved only by the rabbi.  Otherwise a person is labelled as non-religious and is not permitted to touch kosher grape juice, wine or wine making materials. Women, even if deemed religious, are not permitted to work in contact with wine.

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