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The River is an innovative distributor of fine kosher wines and is introducing three wineries from Israel to the US market.
The founders, Lower East Side residents Ami and Larissa Nahari, were visiting their family in Gush Etzion when they stopped at the winery. After tasting, it was hard to believe that these exquisite wines were not available in the US. Today any store which carries a respectable kosher wine selection carries these bottles.
Gush Etzion Winery is located in the Judean Hills, an area recognized for grape growing for thousands of years, and which merited a special blessing from Yaakov to his son Judah.
The winery offers three series of award-winning wines â€“ Blessed Valley (Emek Bracha), Lone Oak (Halon Haboded), and Spring River (Nahal Hapirim). Blessed Valley was one of the top 6 wines in Israel in 2010; the Sauvignon Blanc won a Silver Medal for over all white wines; and Lone Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, Lone Oak Syrah, and Spring River Cabernet-Merlot were all listed in the Top 18 in The Jewish Weekâ€™s Kosher Wine Guide 2012.
On the following annual trip to Israel, Ami and Larissa visited Kadesh Barnea, a winery from the Negev Desert, which has proven to be a surprisingly successful grape growing region. A family operation, the son and daughter-in-law of the owners studied winemaking in Italy and have produced exceptional wines, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and two red blends â€“ Negev and Desert, which are available here for the first time this Passover.
The River was introduced to Har Bracha by Aron Ritter, founder of the Kosher Wine Society. Located in Har Grizim/Shomron, this is also a special area in regards to the Torah. This is the inaugural import of the limited production of Reserve Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the boutique winery.
The River provides wine for many tasting events, especially pre-Passover wine sales. They will be featured at the Stanton St Shul wine sale and tasting, where all kosher wines in the market will be available for purchase at a significant discount. Sunday March 25, 4-8pm, 180 Stanton St.