Arab Today, arab today frances sole kosher vineyard aims high despite bottlenecks
Last Updated : GMT 21:08:05
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

France's sole kosher vineyard aims high despite bottlenecks

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today France's sole kosher vineyard aims high despite bottlenecks

Winegrower Alexandre Sartene
Paris - AFP

It was a visit to Jerusalem that inspired Frenchman Alexandre Sartene to start the world's third kosher vineyard outside Israel which, despite a rocky start, now exports as far as Brazil.
"I find the idea of kosher wine divine," says a proud Sartene, with a touch of the same humour that has seen him nickname his domain in southern France, his "kibbutz".
And his vineyard, Parnassah, which means prosperity in Hebrew, is living up to its name, with all wine made strictly in line with an ancient tradition dating back more than 3,000 years.
However, Parnassah vineyard -- located north of the city of Nimes, an area whose rich history goes back to the Roman Empire -- is still facing hurdles, though Sartene is unfazed.
"Wine and olives are the oldest kosher products," said the 49-year-old, sporting a blue kippa or Jewish skullcap. He is part of France's Jewish community, which has 500,000-600,000 members -- the largest Jewish population after Israel and the United States.
"The most mythical of all gifts. It's in the Torah," he said, referring to the Jewish religious book.
Apart from Parnassah, there are only two 100 percent kosher vineyards worldwide outside Israel. Both are in the United States -- one in Oregon and the other in California.
The wine produced here is completely organic with no additives or preservatives.
Its production is carefully supervised by a rabbi who flies in from Jerusalem with two assistants and they only have the right to touch the grapes after the harvest.
When they are not in France, access to the vats is blocked. Even visiting journalists are asked to keep a respectful distance.
To be considered kosher, Sabbath-observant male Jews must supervise the entire winemaking process and any ingredients used must be kosher.
When kosher wine is produced, marketed and sold commercially, it must have the seal of approval of a kosher supervising agency or organisation, or of an authoritative rabbi.
Spread over seven hectares (17 acres) and with another two hectares which are currently being revitalised, the vineyard produces between 50,000 and 60,000 bottles annually.
The offerings include reds, roses and whites which are sold in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Panama City and Rio de Janeiro.
- Riddled with problems -
Though he never anticipated a career in winemaking, it was not totally off Sartene's radar. His postmaster grandfather dabbled in making his own tipple and had a small vineyard where Sartene helped out as a boy.
The erstwhile Parisian and marketing consultant got the idea of setting up a kosher vineyard after a 1993 visit to a wine domain called the Jerusalem Hills, located near the ancient city.
It took several more years and a budget of one million euros for the dream to fructify. Sartene finally chose the Nimes area because "I love bullfights."
In early 2007, the project was ready to go with the backing of one of the deputies of the mayor of Arpaillargues, a village of some 800 residents.
However, the mayor has refused to provide either water or electricity connections for the domain -- which includes a showroom, a home that doubles as office and 2,000 metres (more than a mile) of walkways covered in Gaudi-like tiles. Sartene, consequently, sources water from a well and uses a generator for power.
A legal battle is on and there have been 27 complaints from both sides filed so far, including one concerning the alleged theft of stones from the property.
Sartene's lawyer Arnaud Lemoine dismisses any link between his client's troubles and resurgent anti-Semitic attacks in France that this month prompted Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to vow to make the fight against anti-Semitism a "national cause".
"This is not the case of an anti-Semitic mayor who is trying to throw a spanner in the works," said Sartene's lawyer Arnaud Lemoine.
The mayor "was initially favourable to this project but the higher ups vetoed it," he said.
"The question really is why did the prefect change his mind?" he said, referring to the top local government authority of the region.
But Sartene ploughs on, his operation grows and he is convinced that the courts will ultimately rule in his favour.
"My business plan is one million bottles," he said.

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today frances sole kosher vineyard aims high despite bottlenecks Arab Today, arab today frances sole kosher vineyard aims high despite bottlenecks

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Ideen Belmahdy happy to be part of “ Fashion Star”

GMT 17:00 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ideen Belmahdy happy to be part of “ Fashion Star”
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 12:06 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Britain banks on robots, AI to boost growth

GMT 12:00 2017 Sunday ,26 February

China to allow more IPOs to attract capital

GMT 06:31 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Consumer prices up in Canada

GMT 06:15 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Tsipras: Era of austerity is over
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 13:47 2017 Friday ,24 February

Rabia Fatima reveals role of "Facebook" in her career

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday