Move over Manischewitz. There is kosher wine being produced in Washington State.
Today is the beginning of Passover and it's with this celebration, I am here to tell that you will no longer have to settle for the overly sweet wines produced from Concord grapes grown in New York.
As you know, I typically do not stray much from Walla Walla when it comes to writing about wines. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered kosher wine produced, especially from grapes grown in the Walla Walla Valley.
This new winery and estate vineyard are located at Underwood, Washington in the Columbia Gorge AVA, and believe it or not, the kosher labels are owned by a non-Jew. The owner-winemaker is Philip Jones, who is also the proprietor of the Spencer Hill Winery, which produces Goose Bay kosher wines in New Zealand - - and now his newest venture at Underwood, named Pacifica Winery.
Pacifica is the first premium kosher wines to be produced in the Northwest. Their production will be around 7,000 cases. Phillip and his wife, Sheryl's newest investment in Washington State takes up 95 acres on Underwood Mountain to which 25-acres have been planted in vines. This special acreage has been named, Evan's Vineyard after the Jone's youngest son. The vines planted are Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Pinot Noir and Syrah, and with hopes of crushing Pinot Noir this year.
Pacifica Winery at Underwood is located where the great Columbia River divides the two states north of Hood River, Oregon. This magnificent geography makes it a perfect location for sourcing fruit from Washington, as well as Oregon. At this time, their first two kosher wines are Pacifica Pinot Noir - 2010 and Pacifica Meritage - 2010. A Cabernet-Merlot - 2011 to be released soon.
What immediately caught my attention is the Pacifica Meritage (traditional Meritage blend: Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot) are sourced from our famous Walla Walla vineyards at Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills.
The wines from Pacifica are distributed through the Royal Wine Corp, the leading producer and importer of kosher wines, domestic and imported.