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Kosher Producer in Napa Plans New Winery

Dana Nigro
Posted: January 30, 1999

After nearly 20 years of producing Kosher wine, Napa-based Hagafen Cellars is finally building its own winery at its 13-acre Silverado Trail vineyard.

"The time is right for us as a wine company and for me personally," said owner and winemaker Ernie Weir. "There's been a big demand from people who want to come and taste our wines, and we want to accommodate that."

Though Weir is still in negotiations with the county, he said he hopes to break ground on March 1 and complete the facility in time for this year's harvest. He described the barn-shaped winery as "fairly simple," with a stone building that will serve as a tasting room. Weir plans to increase Hagafen's production, which currently ranges from 6,000 to 9,000 cases a year, to 10,000 cases in the first year the winery is open.

Hagafen, which means "the vine" in Hebrew, produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and white Zinfandel. The winery is adding to its line-up with a Merlot and a sparkling wine to be released this year, followed by a 1999 Syrah. All the wines are certified Kosher, and all (except the 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve) are "mevushal" -- flash-pasteurized to permit non-kosher individuals to handle the wines without compromising the wines' religious integrity.

For more on other Kosher wineries:

  • August 8, 1998
    Kosher Winery Reopens in New York's Finger Lakes Region

  • May 21, 1998
    Herzog Overcomes Kosher Quandary to Produce an Impressive Cabernet Sauvignon

  • December 29, 1997
    Kosher Wines Reappear in Germany

  • April 9, 1997
    Korbel Keeps Kosher with New Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wine

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