For nearly four decades, California%u2019s Napa Valley has been home to some of the best kosher wines in the world. Most of them have been made by one man %u2014 Ernie Weir, the founder of Hagafen Cellars. Located at the southern end of Napa Valley%u2019s famous Silverado Trail (one of the valley's main wine tourism routes), Hagafen is housed in a picturesque set of stone and plaster buildings, next to a green, leafy vineyard, with purple-topped mountains hovering in the distance.
Weir started making kosher wines in Napa Valley in 1979, at a time when, for most American Jews, the choice in kosher wine was between Manischewitz and Mogen David. Weir says that his desire to make kosher wine dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when he was bothered by the fact that wine-loving relatives felt the need to bring quality non-kosher wines to the family Passover seder. He said to himself, "This is absurd, why can%u2019t we have that product [quality wine and kosher wine] all wrapped up in one."
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Published By: The Jewish Week New York