web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 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
Tent over excavation site in downtown Tel Aviv.
Archaeologists Discover Egypt Occupied Tel Aviv 5,000 Years Ago
Latest News Stories
Tent over excavation site in downtown Tel Aviv.

The discovery would be a death blow the PA claims that Tel Aviv is “Palestinian” if it weren’t for the fact that that Arafat was born in Egypt.

Yoav Horowitz

Who is Horowitz? He’s Netanyahu’s eyes and ears. He’s very close to him, literally his personal representative everywhere…

obamatargetiran-275x167

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with
other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

Aftermath of Saudi air strike on Yemen.

Saudi Arabia withdraws personnel from Aden. Iran calls Saudi strike a “strategic mistake.”

“The tone of #US officials’ background comments on #Iran talks is getting progressively more dreary, like the weather in #Lausanne,” Associate Press reporter Matt Lee tweeted Saturday night. Lee is a veteran journalist who has a keen eye and ear that cuts through the double talk and dishonest smiling faces of American diplomats. If he […]

It is a long tradition in the Muslim world never to agree to anything at an agreed time.

Hamas test fired a rocket on Saturday, the rocket landed within the Gaza Strip.

Israel was aware of the report’s impending release and did not object.

The PA hasn’t changed anything on their end, so why did Netanyahu suddenly change his policy?

Obama’s “two-state” phobia shows how much he and his experts do not understand the Middle East.

Kosher for Passover? Depends who you ask.

The main suspect confessed to passing on information to Syria through the Internet.

Has anyone asked Obama why Netanyahu should even think about agreeing to a Palestinian Authority country?

A U.S. Air Force F-15 warplane dropped approximately 60,000 leaflets over the Syrian city of Raqaa to discourage people from joining the Islamic State (ISIS), the Pentagon revealed Thursday. The “Military Information Support Operations,” propaganda campaign was carried out last week and was the first time the United States has used the tactic in Syria. […]

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: