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Herzog Wine Cellars, California

Herzog Wine Cellars, where cigar smoking is strictly kosher.
Alejandro Benes
Posted: August 30, 2010

(continued from page 2)

We should make clear that Herzog's wine is not your father's Manischewitz or Mogen David, and nothing like what comes from the Concord grapes usually associated with kosher wines. Herzog is making cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, zinfandel and pinot noir in red; and sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, among other varietals, in white. Still, the Herzog story is very different from many other California wine families.

Phillip Herzog began making wine in Slovakia more than a century ago. Back in the day, Herzog made both kosher and non-kosher wines. His product was so appreciated by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef that he gave Phillip the title of "Baron."

During World War II, Phillip's grandson Eugene hid his family from the Nazis in the Slovakian countryside. After the war, Eugene reclaimed the winery.

Just three years later, in 1948, the new communist Czech government drove the Herzog family away to Brooklyn. Eugene worked for a small kosher winery that produced the common Concord grape sweet wine. He was paid in shares.

Ten years later, Eugene and his sons, who had come to control the failing venture, renamed the winery Royal Wines. In 1985, the Herzogs expanded to California and in 2005, opened the new winery in Oxnard.

Today, after finishing a rich, delicious meal in the winery's restaurant, you can step out on the patio, sit in an overstuffed lounge chair, light up a great cigar and toast Baron Phillip and his extended family—I'd recommend the zinfandel—for keeping their eyes on the prize.

Herzog Wine Cellars & Tierra Sur Restaurant
3201 Camino Del Sol

Oxnard, CA 93030

Winery Hours:
About 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed Fridays at 5 p.m. and all day Saturday.
Restaurant Hours:
Lunch: Sunday—Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Friday (Summer) 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Winter) 11:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Dinner: Sunday—Thursday 5 - 9 p.m.
Tasting Room: Open when winery is open; self-guided tours available.

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