Pitigliano is one of the most important Italian producers of Kosher wines.
The local Jewish tradition is carried out by the La Piccola Gerusalemme association, and the Cantina Sociale di Pitigliano itself has a section dedicated to Kosher Wines, prepared following strict Casherut rules.
The Kosher wines of Pitigliano, Bianchi and Rossi, are part of the oldest Jewish tradition and are one of the most famous local products.
There has been a cellar for the production of Kosher wines in Pitigliano since the end of the 16th century, when the Jewish community of the Papal States was forced to leave their homes and take refuge in this Tuscan town.
They built their own neighbourhood where the main commercial activities were carried out and where the most important sacred buildings were built, from the Synagogue to the Forno delle Azzime to the Macelleria Kasher and the Kasher Cellar.
RULES FOR THE PRODUCTION OF KOSHER WINES
In order to be used by the Jewish people, food and wine must be prepared according to the Casherut – or Kasher – rules. The term Casherut indicates the suitability of a product according to the rules of the Jewish religion. These rules are imposed by the Torah. In order for a food or wine to be considered Kosher, the rules of preparation and management of the ingredients must be strictly followed. For this reason, restaurants and companies that produce this kind of food always have a Mashghiah, a supervisor who ensures that all processes are correctly respected.
What characteristics must a wine have to be considered kosher?
Wines, and more generally products containing alcohol, including super-spirits, must be prepared following the Casherut rules if they are to be used in Jewish ceremonies.
In Jewish culture, wine is an important element in religious celebrations, in Shabbat meals. in the Jewish Passover and during the celebration for the Purim.
There are three types of wines:
KASHER WINE: used in daily life except during the Shabbat period
KASHER WINE FOR PESACH: during the period of Pesach, it is forbidden to eat products that contain yeast, for this reason this wine is produced without the use of yeast.
YAYIN MEVUSHAL WINE: pasteurized wine that can also be served by non-Jews
The basic rules for kosher wine production:
- The grapes used for the production of kosher wines must come from a vine that is at least 4 years old. The fruits of the vine from earlier years are binned before flowering.
- Whoever takes care of the grapes, from the moment of arrival in the cellar to the production of wine must be an observant Jew. It is forbidden for non-Jews to come into contact with grapes and wine in the cellar.
- All the tools used for harvesting, storage and production must be kosher and clean.
- Any substance used in the production of wine must be kosher. Sulfur dioxide, kosher must, saccaromiceti kosher and bentonite are allowed.
- Kosher wine should not be touched by non-Jews. Pasteurised yayin mevushal wine is the exception as it remains kosher even if it comes into contact with non Jews. The pasteurization process in this case takes place by bringing the wine to a temperature of 89°C and then abruptly back to 4°C. If a Rabbi is present during the processing phases, the wine doesn’t have to be pasteurized, but it must be served by Jews.
- The name of the Rabbi who has certified the production phases must be printed on the wine label.
- Tradition has it that, in order to respect and remember the tithing paid to the guardians of the Temple of Jerusalem, the Trumat Maser ceremony is respected, in which 1% of every new wine production is thrown away.
PITIGLIANO’S KOSHER WINE
Pitigliano has two excellent kosher wines, the Bianco and Rosso Kasher.
- BIANCO KASHER: produced with Trebbiano Toscano, Greco, Malvasia, Verdello and Chardonnay grapes. The whole processing and production process is followed by the Rabbi of Livorno. Straw-yellow colour, with a delicate and fragrant bouquet, lively and pleasant taste with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Alcohol content 11.5%
- ROSSO KASHER: produced with San Giovese and Canaiolo grapes. The whole processing and production process is followed by the Rabbi of Livorno. Ruby red colour, persistent vinous scent, dry and full flavour. Alcohol content 12%