Wines Without Grapes: Fruit Wine for Tu B'shevat
In the North of Israel, in the town of Yokne’am, the winemaker and his associates spend their days producing wines from fruits grown in the Holy Land—the result of which will go on to delight the palates of Israelis… and many around the world.
However, the fruits they are squeezing and fermenting aren’t grapes, and the juice fermenting in their steel vats is not traditional wine.
Meet the fast-growing Morad Winery which is introducing their line of delicious and astounding fruit wines and liqueurs to the kosher wine market.
The traditions had been growing—and being perfected— for many generations, though far apart. When they met, a spectacular product was created that would capture the imagination of the kosher consumer and beyond.
Yaakov Morad grew up in an Iraqi-Jewish family. Since the Muslim government forbade the production, sale, or consumption of alcohol, Yaakov’s family grew their own grapes in the backyard to make kiddush wine.
Over three generations, the Morad family perfected the art of winemaking 2until they could no longer remain in a hostile land. They virtually walked to the Holy Land when Yaakov was just a child. Given a new chance at life in his new homeland, he set about continuing his family winemaking tradition in the small village of Yokne’am, a town that would later grow to be known for the Israeli high tech industry.
Gershon Bodner was born in Germany after WWII. After the war, he came with his mother and father to live on Moshav Gan Hashomron in central Israel. His father and mother worked as farmers raising chickens and cows and tending fields.“We came to love the earth and its bounty and developed an appreciation for nature and its vegetation. As my siblings and I would play in the fields, I probably did not realize that I was being prepared for a calling that would come much later in life.”
It would be many years until Gershon would take over the ownership of Morad Winery and take it to unforeseen heights.
After serving in the Israeli Air Force, Gershon attended NYU and LIU in New York where he studied mathematics and engineering— fields that would asist him in running a winery.
The story actually began one summer afternoon when he and his brothers were driving in northern Israel and decided to visit a winery popular for producing fruit wines on a boutique scale.
Perhaps it was the memories of the fruit from their childhood that awakened within them as they tasted authentic fruit presented in a way they had never tasted before. Gershon decided to purchase the winery and planned with his brother Amir to expand the distribution of this unique product.
Respecting Talent and Tradition
When Gershon took over Morad Winery, he knew that while bringing his technological expertise to enhance production, he would need to remain true to the traditional winemaking methods. So it should come as no surprise that they decided to keep Yaakov Morad’s name as the name of the winery. “I have a deep respect for everything that Yaakov has done to bring his great talent and skill to his craft and we seek to keep that tradition alive and well at Morad.”
Gershon recognized the unique product they were producing and decided to take the entire winery in the direction of fruit wines.
Gershon is quick to point out that the very same process used in producing grape wine is used in the production of fruit wine. At Morad, the fermentation and aging takes place in stainless steel vats allowing for the rich flavor of each fruit to develop.
Ellen and Gershon Bodner, the owners of Morad Winery explain their mission: capture the true essence of each fruit and create a truly unique, rich and delicious wine.
Another point of pride is that all the fruits used to produce their wines are grown in the Land of Israel. It is well-known that the fruit and vegetables grown in Israel are of high quality and contribute to the richness of the wines.
The variety at Morad is ever expanding. Similar to grape wine, Morad wines can be paired with different foods, made into cocktails or simply be enjoyed on their own.
“Today, we offer numerous fruit wines including passion fruit, lychee, wild berries, grapefruit and pomegranate. The liqueurs include amaretto, double espresso, chocolate and limoncello. Many other flavors are also at our visitors’ center in Israel.
What People Want
People want to enjoy a good glass of wine and we offer many delicious choices to choose from.
“And this is only the beginning. We are planning to introduce new wines every year to add to the Morad wine experience.
This Tu B’Shevat, as you sample a glass of delicious Morad wines and liqueurs, experience the unique and distinctive taste based on tradition and the knowledge of three generations of winemakers.