Understanding Kosher Wine

The Birth Of Kosher Wine

Ever since the founding of the first winery in Israel in 1890, prompted by Baron Edmond de Rothschild’s company, Carmel, currently certified by the OU, which named it the Zion Wine cellars, the modern kosher wine market has enjoyed rapid growth. Now, it’s a mainstay in the global market with 75% of its consumers not holding of kosher.

What Makes Wine Kosher?

Kosher wine is made in the same way as non-kosher, explaining their similar taste and quality. Rabbinically supervised kosher wine requires Sabbath-observant Jews to be involved in the handling of the wine, until it’s mevushal, a Hebrew term that mean boiled. This is often done in the beginning of the process through flash pasteurization. If the wine maker chooses not to boil the wine and rather have it non-mevusah, it doesn’t make the wine any less kosher, however, it necessitates that it must be handled by Jews until it is actually poured for consumption.

Passover Certification Of Kosher Wine

Most kosher wines are also kosher for Passover. The only issue arises if it would come into contact with leavened items.

The Market For Kosher Wine

A majority of the kosher wines are produced in the United Sates, Israel, France, Italy, Chile and Argentina and revenues in the kosher wine market are significant on an annual basis.

A Sampling Of OU Certified Wines

A recent example of the explosion of kosher wine into the general market is the “blue bottle” Bartenura Moscato wine, certified by the OU, which has a low-alcohol, fruity taste that has captured widespread appeal and is exported to 32 countries and sells close to 5 million bottles annually. Also, Manischewitz, an OU Kosher certified company, is the #1 kosher wine brand in America and it’s Concord Grape Wine Kosher for Passover known for its sugary flavor, has a large crossover appeal. They ship out more than 900,000 cases of this brand a year.

The Future Of Kosher Wine

Considering that the kosher wine market has recently been growing at a rate of 20% per year, it substantiates that its appeal is growing to a universal audience and that it’s an integral player on the worldwide stage of wine consumption.



Steven Genack
Steven Genack has worked at OU Kosher for more than ten years with a specialty in ingredients. He is an attorney and former editor of a newspaper. He has a wide array of interests including playing tennis, golf and basketball and reading biographies and memoirs.