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What is kosher wine?

Kosher wine is a type of wine suitable for people of Jewish faith. The application of organic fertilisers is forbidden in the vineyard, the use of animal-based additives is not allowed either and hygiene standards are very strict. Let's find out more about kosher wine and which wineries produce kosher wines.

 A Jewish man pouring wine at dining table on Hanukkah.

Kosher wine is a type of wine suitable for people of Jewish faith, and made in accordance with the precepts of Kashrut, the Jewish law that determines which foods can be eaten by this religious community. The word ‘kosher’ is a Hebrew word which means ‘fit’, ‘suitable’ or ‘proper’. The protocol involved in producing a wine that can be considered kosher is very strict, although essentially it’s a wine with the same flavours and aromas as any other. 

Kosher wines, contrary to a widely-held yet mistaken belief, are not required to be blessed by a rabbi, however they should only be made by practising Jews. The use of animal-based additives (except for egg white, but only from an egg with a white shell, and checked by a rabbi before being used) is not allowed; gelatine and casein are not permissible, nor is any addition of bacteria, yeasts or enzymes. From the moment the grapes reach the winery, only people of the Jewish religion can touch equipment used in production or handle the wine in any way; in effect, the rabbi takes over the role of winemaker under supervision, and operates exactly as instructed. Hygiene standards are very strict and only new bottles are allowed to be used.  

In the vineyard, the application of organic fertilisers during the last two months before harvesting is forbidden, and grapes must come from vines which are at least four years old. During the 7th year (Sabbath) in the lifetime of the plants, harvesting doesn’t take place, thus enabling the land to regenerate. Also, 1% of the proceeds has to benefit charitable causes. 

Kosher wine in Spain and the world over 

In recent times, the demand for kosher wine has been growing at a considerable rate, leading a fair few countries to start production of these particular wines. The United States, France, Italy, Australia and Germany already have some wineries that produce kosher wines, and this is happening in Spain too, where bodegas with a long-standing tradition, such as Celler Capçanes and Bodegas Pinord, are creating great kosher wines, like the iconic Flor de Primavera Peraj Ha’Abib and Taanug Anfiteatro.

Get to know all the kosher wines available at Vinissimus!