GAN EDEN Wines
There are many ways a winery can
be differentiated from producers of similar types of
wine. It can have the highest production, be the most
interesting architecturally, it can be the oldest or the
newest, have the highest technology, have acquired the largest
vineyard acreage, or many other things. GAN EDEN was THE
FIRST. It wasn't the first modern producer of kosher
wine in California, that distinction belongs to Hagafen.
But GAN EDEN was the first winery facility in California
actually dedicated exclusively to the production of kosher
wine, and over 10 years after its establishment in 1985, it
was still the only winery facility exclusively producing
kosher product. Now, of course, Herzog and Covenant and
even Four Gates have their own facilities (Four Gates was the
first of those), and GAN EDEN is no longer being
produced. But it showed the world that a winery
dedicated to kosher production could be viable. I would
imagine that one of the reasons others took the plunge is
because GAN EDEN showed that a dedicated winery facility was a
potentially viable solution to the myriad problems associated
with the unfettered access by unauthorized personnel to be
found in a mixed kosher/non-kosher facility.The advantage is
that instead of worrying about security, the producer can
concentrate on quality.
In 1993, when the Wine
Atlas of California was published, Herzog was not even
mentioned by the author, James Halliday (a winemaker himself
in Australia, founder of Brokenwood Winery and Coldstream
Hills, wine competition judge and a prolific wine writer),
Hagafen's wines were called "adequate", and Weinstock's
(Robbie Weinstock produced an independent brand at the time)
wines ranged from "eminently forgettable" to "crisp and well
made", "lively, fresh" and "pleasant". On the other
hand, he said of GAN EDEN,"what must surely be the producer of
the finest kosher wines in the world." We at GAN EDEN
strove to be undifferentiated in quality from the finest wines
to be found coming out of California. We were not
producing kosher wine for the kosher market, we were producing
wine for the uncompromising
consumer, no matter who that consumer happened to be.
GAN EDEN's wines were known well beyond the bounds of the
kosher consumers of the day.
As my children grew up, I
knew that our remote location, relative to the Jewish
population, would act against us. By 1998, I knew that
in order to provide the Jewish education we believed the kids
needed, they would either need to commute to available tutors
in the Bay Area, or we would need to relocate. By the
early 2000s, it became evident that the tutors were not
available, and the Jewish education institutions of the San
Francisco Bay Area were inadequate for our needs. My
priorities strongly favored my family's welfare, and so in
2005, the GAN EDEN property was sold, and my family relocated
to Los Angeles. However, I always felt I would like to
one day create a new GAN EDEN.
This is a web site to
passionately argue the merits of a plan to resurrect a
distinguished name, a noble philosophy, a legacy of excellence
that will again imbue the wines of GAN EDEN.
I established GAN EDEN in
1985. 33 years later, I can still create excellent wine (as
evidenced by the wines I produced at Agua Dulce), and I
believe with the proper resources, great wine as well.
Let's get those resources flowing!