Hasidic Winemaker Hopes To Sell Ultra-Orthodox On $100 Bordeaux – Forward

Posted By on July 18, 2017

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Israelis harvesting grapes at a vineyard near Jerusalem.

Yossi Izakovitch is betting that he can convince ultra-Orthodox Jews that his Bordeaux-style blend is good enough to justify its $100 price tag and its $93 price differential with Manischewitz. Since its first vintage in 2011, Izakovitchs Jerusalem winery, Metzuda, has gone from selling 1,500 bottles to 25,000 bottles last year.

Wine is not just food its art, Izakovitch told Vinepair. I like to have a connection with the people who drink my wine and who understand what Im trying to do.

Izakovich is an ultra-Orthodox Jew, and markets his different varieties among them a $25 bottle of Cabernet and a $50 bottle of Shiraz to ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel and the U.S. He operates without a hechsher, or certification of kashrut, from Israels Orthodox Council of Jerusalem, an ultra-Orthodox communal organization. A stamp of approval from the OCJ would forbid Izakovitch from directly handling his barrels and tasting his wine without permission.

I need to be able to touch my own barrels, he said. To make good wine, you have to have total control over the process.

Contact Ari Feldman at feldman@forward.com or on Twitter @aefeldman.

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Hasidic Winemaker Hopes To Sell Ultra-Orthodox On $100 Bordeaux - Forward

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