Cellar De Capcanes and the Kosher Wines
Of all the exciting wineries we visited in October on our European Wine Bloggers Pre-Conference trip to the Priorat and Montsant wine regions in Spain, one of the most interesting to me was Celler de Capcanes. What is unique about this winery is that they produce 3 Kosher wines: Peraj Ha’abib, Flor del Flor de Primavera and Peraj petita. Even though Kosher wines account for only 2% of Capcanes’ production, these wines are highly popular in Barcelona.
Not being Jewish, I knew almost nothing about Kosher wines. I was fascinated to learn of the many restrictions placed on the making and handling of wine to comply with Jewish Law. All aspects of the production and handling of Kosher wine before and after the bottle has been opened must be done by Jewish hands. Even by just looking at a wine, a non-Jew can contaminate it. For that reason, the Kosher cellars at Capcanes are closed to visitors.
Capcanes has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages. Over the years, many people left the area for bigger cities following the devastation to vineyards from Phylloxera and the advent of industrialization. In 1933, five families from the village established a co-operative, so they’d be able to survive as farmers and be able to efficiently sell their grapes. A significant change came in 1995 when the Jewish community of Barcelona, 100 miles away, asked Capcanes to produce a Kosher wine. That required new equipment to be installed. From the popularity of these Kosher wines, Capcanes attracted investors, and much of the winery was remodeled and modernized. The other 98% of Capcanes’ wines now enjoy a distinctive reputation around the world.
Our tour and tasting was led by Jurgen Wagner. He is the co-winemaker and the director of operations at Capcanes. In the photo below he is pictured with an assistant currently interning at Capcanes in the production of Kosher wines.
On a side note, one of the wines produced at Capcanes is a wine that we have purchased locally at K&L Wines. It is produced specifically for the U.S. market and imported by Eric Solomon. The wine is Mas Donis Barrica, and the current vintage is 2009. It is a highly acclaimed wine and value priced at $11.99. It is delicious and is a great choice for your Thanksgiving dinner. You can read Joe’s review of the Mas Donis at Wine Values and Bargains.
For more information on the wines of Capcanes, visit their website