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March 22, 1996 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-03-22

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In French, chaff winemakers got wise, tore
means the
out their old, poor vari-
barrel aging
eties, planted popular
Cabernet, Chardonnay
Much of the
investment of
and some of the better
recent years at Rhone varieties of grapes
Carmel has
been in barrels and now produce easy-
drinking, easily affordable
to age red
wine and in
Also exported to the
insulated chais
United States from the
to keep the
wine cool as it southern part of France is
a Vin de Pays d'Oc Merlot,

a 1993 Chateau La Reze
from Minervois and a very fine Chateau
Paraza from Minervois. It is hard to find
a poor wine from Minervois.
Kosher wines are made in virtually
every other winegrowing region of
France. Alsace has some beauties, most-
ly white and unjustly overlooked. And
there are true champagnes, among them
Jeanmaire and Charles Lafitte of
Several kosher Burgundies are avail-

able, but beware of tired wines that have
languished on the shelves, unsold, year
in and year out, such as a Cote de
Beaune Villages 1987. Teetering on the
edge is a Chablis premier Cm Montmain.
'88, although premier cm is almost as
good a ranking as there is.
For the first time, there's a kosher
Muscadet, just right with fish, gefilte or
otherwise. And there's a Chinon, a red
seldom seen this side of the Atlantic and
worthy of attention.
Also well thought of is the Bokobsa
line of wines. Albert Bokobsa, a refugee
from Algerian independence, set up shop
in Charenton when he emigrated to
France. He bottles kosher, traditional
dry wine from many of the great appel-
We leave France for Israel with a fit-
ting transition— a mention of the red
Bordeaux wine, Barons Edmond and
Benjamin de Rothschild. Before Gis-
cours, perhaps the most expensive
kosher French wine, this cm bourgeois

was ironically created on a former pig
farm by Edmond de Rothschild, leader
of that branch of the family that controls
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. Baron Eric
de Rothschild, who directs Lafite-Roth-
schild, says this most august of Bordeaux
properties itself began life as a kosher



t was the original Baron Edmonde

de Rothschild who started Israel
on the quality wine track. A pious
man, he traveled to Israel in the
1880s, inspected the wines and vines
and was appalled. On his return to
France, he dispatched the manager of
the property to make his own investi-
gation and to select Bordeaux varieties
to suit. .
Today's Carmel wines are the benefi-
ciaries of the baron's largesse. Over the
years, the cooperative of 800 wine grow-
ers that comprise Carmel let the baron's

good works slide slowly downhill. A few
years ago, with sales plummeting and
the Golan Heights Winery leaping ahead
in world estimation, Cannel instituted
a multimillion-dollar renovation.
The major Carmel wine cellars at Ris-
hon le-Zion and Zichron Ya'akov were
upgraded with state-of-the-art equip-
ment, and the entire line of wines was
given a facelift.
Carmel has established a relatively
new Rothschild line of premium varietal
wines including Cabernet Sauvignon,
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and
Emerald Riesling, several lower-priced
"fighting varietal" wines, and now even
New Harvest red and white wines, cre-
ated in an attempt to compete with
Beaujolais Nouveau.
Cannel is also distributing Israel's first
exported grappa, Grappa Di Segal, pro-
duced at the Ashkelon Distillery and de-
signed, right down to the bottle, to go
head to head with the leading Italian
versions of this clear, unaged brandy.

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