Marlborough region boasts new kosher grape juice

August 24, 2015 by Keren Cook
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Marlborough is well-known as one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions and has the best potential for grape growing in New Zealand.

Now, a Marlborough winemaker is making great strides with a high quality chardonnay grape juice that is alcohol free. The grape juice is made to Jewish kosher standards. The New Zealand Kiwi Kosher hechsher is accepted by the Kashrut Authority of Australia and New Zealand.

Anderson

Eric Anderson           Photo: Supplied

It is the first year German-born winemaker Eric Anderson has made the Invei Zahava or Grapes of Gold, grape juice after 6 years of producing kosher style wine from Marlborough grown pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay grapes.

Anderson who is Jewish, says the North American and European markets for kosher products are large – but in New Zealand, consumers are “unsure how and when to drink grape juice”.

Invei Zahava is the first New Zealand kosher grape juice – cold pressed, unsweetened, and uses 100% premium chardonnay grapes from the recent 2015 harvest.

The grape juice is certified kosher to comply with Jewish food and wine requirements.

In Jewish law, all liquids produced from fresh or dried grapes, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, such as grape juice and wine vinegar is the same category as wine.

Wine, grape juice, and all products containing wine or grape juice must remain solely in Jewish hands during the manufacturing process, and also after the seal of the bottle has been opened.

wineThe winemaker says the grape juice is an “ideal alternative” for someone who does not drink alcohol but wants to “feel comfortable in social occasions where alcohol was being served”.

The new chardonnay grape juice manufacturing process is similar to his winemaking process: “We made it the same way as wine, pressing the grapes, filtering and bottling, but there is no yeast added, and no fermentation process,” says Anderson.

The Marlborough winemaker prefers chardonnay grapes because they offer more complexity and quality. He says “Sauvignon Blanc are beautiful grapes but chardonnay grapes are more fruity’.

Despite grape juice being difficult to market, the hospitality industry has offered a favourable response: “The restaurants love it but they don’t know what to do with it.

“It’s a very niche market, it is very popular in Europe but it is a very small market in New Zealand,” he says.

This year is somewhat of a test – having produced 350 cases to “see what the demand is like”.

For those who wish to trial and challenge the taste buds, cases of the grape juice can be bought on Trade Me, Eric Arie Anderson Facebook and at the Marlborough Farmers’ Market, in Blenheim, on Sundays.

Comments

One Response to “Marlborough region boasts new kosher grape juice”
  1. john nemesh says:

    I am wishing to learn where exactly it states that no non jewish hands can be involved in the wine making.

    I would be very appreciative,

    because unlike the definitive prohibitions to the children of Israel, I thought all wine was kosher by definition.

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