web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


L’Chaim! Mountain Man’s Kosher Wine a Toast to God

By: JTA

Producing wine atop a tranquil mountain in a remote area of northern California is quite a way to make a living. For Benyamin Cantz, whose one-man operation in the hills of Santa Cruz produces kosher wine from organic grapes, it’s also a calling.

“I just love making wine and the holy concept behind it, and I just want to share it with others,” Cantz told JTA in an interview on his vineyard, Four Gates Winery, one of the smallest kosher wineries in the country and of few which grows grapes organically.

“I feel so lucky that God has blessed me with the opportunity to do something that I love,” he adds.

Just getting up Cantz’s driveway is like an amusement park ride, which ends at a quaint sign greeting visitors in Hebrew.

Cantz, 65, arrived at this mountaintop 42 years ago for a summer job doing handiwork and never left. He becoming religiously observant with the help of a Chabad rabbi he met in town and later came to understand the spiritual transformation grapes undergo on their way from the vine to the Shabbat table.

“In a non-irrigated vineyard, the water literally comes down from the heaven as rain, and that rain goes through a whole spiritual journey just to give us our wine,” Cantz says. “From the sky, down to the earth, into the grapes, then crushed and bottled for our Friday night tables, it just reminded me of the whole enterprise of living. And I liked the idea of a physical voyage that manifests to find something physical to elevate God through.

Maintaining a vineyard is strenuous work, especially for someone working alone who doesn’t use pesticides and must tend his vines on a slope where tractor use is impossible. In the spring and summer, Cantz spends his days planting, sowing, pruning and watering. In the fall and winter, he lives in isolation in a slightly dilapidated yet charming shack made of plywood and cinderblock that he built himself.

There he crushes, presses, ferments, barrels, bottles, corks and labels his wine. While Cantz’s crop is certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers, his wine doesn’t qualify as organic because Cantz uses sulfur dioxide to prevent further aging — a practice European wineries consider organic but Americans do not.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “L’Chaim! Mountain Man’s Kosher Wine a Toast to God”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.
CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’
Latest News Stories
Firefighting over Ein Yael, Jerusalem

Firefighters fought a large fire in Ein Yael, Jerusalem, located opposite the Biblical Zoo, and up the road from Malcha Mall.

John Kerry says in Vienna today what he said in Switzerland three months ago.

Reporter Laura Rozen: “How many ways can I say significant progress made but important differences remain?”

Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.

CNN put the UNESCO site at the top of the list, implied Israel it to blame for its being “endangered but failed to mention Jordan’s responsibility.

No eating today.

In three weeks, the Fast of the 9th of Av will be on the 10th of Av.

Netanyahu falsely accused Bennett of signing a coalition agreement that returns more power to Hareidim.

US-led talks with Tehran appear to have reached a deal on sanctions relief: but what about access to Iranian nuclear sites?

Arab leaders realize the existential threat posed by ISIS: Tunisia is at a state of emergency; Egypt has declared “war.”

Six terror fugitives were arrested by IDF soldiers overnight in Judea and Samaria.

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick talks peace in Istanbul with a state official and on A9TV with Islamic scholar Adnan Oktar.

Yifat Shoham, one of the longest-running directors of Leumit HMO in Arad, has passed away. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.

Once again, rioting Arabs succeed in preventing Jews and other visitors from entering the Temple Mount.

Kerry spent the Fourth of July talking with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Thirty Policemen escorted a total of 21 neo-Nazi in the “anti-Jewification” protest that flopped.

ISIS released a video of a modern-day replay of the thirst for blood in ancient Roman amphitheaters.

The woman who once kissed Suha Arafat has a different attitude when it comes to funding her campaign for president.

More Articles from JTA

More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]

“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.

The Nazis nearly destroyed the 17th synagogue.

Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.

Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]

A fundraising campaign started quietly by two first graders two years ago to help find a cure for a rare genetic disease just passed the $1 million mark.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lchaim-mountain-mans-kosher-wine-a-toast-to-god/2013/02/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: