Arutz Sheva reported that Rabbi Rafi Yochai gave a statement concerning a problem on the kosher status of vineyards. He said, “There is a growing phenomenon in which, even if the vineyard itself has a kosher certificate, one must check if there is kosher certification for the restaurant and visitors center,” He further said that the Bahat vineyard has lost its kosher certification after a visit from personnel of the rabbinate’s kashrus division. “During an inspection non-kosher items were found, including non-kosher meat,” he said.

So what’s with wine and kosher? It all started when wine was used as an offering to idols long ago. Since Judaism does not allow the worship of idols, wine made by non Jews were all together strictly prohibited. Everything in the process of making wine and all the materials used in the process must be supervised to have kosher certification.  Everything must be clean including all the utensils and machines.  All the workers involved must be Sabbath- observant Jews. For the ingredients, only kosher enzymes and ingredients can be used. Some wine ingredients are in big question  like gelatin, casein, bull blood and isinglass because gelatin is usually taken from a non-kosher animal like pig skin while isinglass comes from a non-kosher fish. In accordance to the law of separation of meat and milk, casein must also be noted because it comes from a dairy derivative. Therefore wine containing casein should not be used with meat.

Bottles for wine should only be used once or not filled many times.  Since hybridization is prohibited, grapes also should not be cross-breed with other plants. Also, wine used for the passover must definitely be free from grain, bread and dough.

Kosher certification in the making of wine is important. The seal of approval of a certifying organization along with the proper kosher symbol will only be awarded in a product if everything in the vineyard complies with the kosher laws. If the vineyard will not maintain the kosher standard then there is a tendency that the kosher certificate will be forfeited just like what happened to the Bahat vineyard.

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