Happy Hanukkah ~ Wines of Jewish Origin to Toast the Season

Tis the season to celebrate heritage, and what better way for the days of Hanukkah than to enjoy it with a glass of wine produced by someone of this culture?

If this is not your cultural heritage, you’re still invited to toast the season on behalf of your Jewish relatives and/or friends. Personally, I have had three people of Jewish heritage enter my family through marriage, and each one is very dear and has added something very substantive to my life. This is a special time of year when our cultures intermingle, so I can’t help but reflect on everyone’s joys of this month of seasonal and ethnic celebrations.

There’s always so much ado about Christmas that other cultures seem to take a back seat to the marketing of Santa Claus, Black Friday shopping, and everything tied up with a red velvet bow. (This almost makes me wonder if it’s we who were born to Christian families that are by nature conspicuous consumers, and that’s what drives Madison Avenue? Hum…)

With Hanukkah already underway, I continue to think about my Jewish family and friends.

The following is short list of wines produced by Jewish vintners in California, and it’s time for me to purchase at least one bottle to celebrate these magical days.

The world list is daunting, so I’m providing a link for those who are curious to see how much wine is produced by Jewish vintners.

The list of California vintners that I’ve gathered (with the help of others):

Happy Hanukkah to you and yours!

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10 Responses to “Happy Hanukkah ~ Wines of Jewish Origin to Toast the Season”

  1. Jo, next you should make a list of Jewish wine writers!

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    It would be an excellent list to have, Steve, seriously.

    I’ve just sent out some Hanukkah cards to my Jewish friends/wine writers, and a few were tricky, because I actually am not sure for a few of them. I don’t want to do something I’ll later regret. Each year I try to send Happy Holidays ones, but this year Hanukkah came really early, and so I’ve been thrown off.

    That list would be really, really helpful, for this purpose alone, for me.

  3. Loweeel says:

    Thanks, Jo!

    I think we could have some parable about PS being the perfect chanukkah wine, because you could have it open for 8 days, and it would still be drinkable 🙂

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    That’s the best, Loweeel….

  5. Jo, thank you for this list!
    I had most of them, but did not know about Randall Graham…
    As my grandmother would say, “who knew?”

    The interesting thing about Jews is you cannot ever know their heritage by their names. An apocryphal story: a terrified Jew fleeing whatever godawful regime in Europe, gets to Ellis Island in the early 1900s and when asked his name, he forgets what he was told to say. The Irish gent who stamped him in thought he said,
    “Ike Ferguson” when he muttered in Yiddish, “ich fergessen.” Ich fergessen (sp) means, I forget or something similar!

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    You’re welcome, Marlene. Nice to see you popping up here. Happy holidays…

  7. Jo, there is one winery/winemaker left out–Oded Shaked of Longboard Wines.
    I met Oded (via email) on Steve Heimoff’s blog. He and Steve were discussing bloggers. It was something about how people nag winemakers for samples, saying they are going to get tons of publicity if only the winemakers would send samples.
    I emailed Oded and he did sent me wine. I featured one of his wines in Chef mag recently. I will be featuring some of his other wines in upcoming editions of Chef.

  8. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Marlene, I’ll add Oded Shaked of Longboard Wines. Was he the winemaker for J a few years ago? If yes, I met him at J, too. Hum… I’ll have to go back in my files.

  9. Jo Diaz says:


    BTW, this list grows each year with the help of friends like you.

  10. Jo, I think Oded was the winemaker at J…not sure.
    Oh, and you already got me a Hanukah present– a great write up!

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