OneHope in Napa Valley plans a new line of kosher wine
The social impact brand will produce high-quality, affordable wine that ‘happens to be kosher’
Years ago, Jake Kloberdanz was standing in Yad Vashem’s Garden of the Righteous in Jerusalem when — as a 12-year old on a family trip to Israel — he was overcome with emotion and felt an enormous urge to give back to his community. That passion stayed with him for decades, through his early adulthood and into his burgeoning career in the world of Napa Valley wine.
In 2007, Kloberdanz says he found fulfillment in the founding of OneHope — a vineyard and direct-to-consumer retailer of wines with a charitable bend. Each bottle purchased through OneHope’s website directly contributes to a specific cause. Today, this includes 35 organizations covering eight areas of charitable giving.
“Our purpose is to nourish the future. And we serve that purpose every day through our mission to share wine and give hope,” explained Kloberdanz. “We have a community of people who are able to share wine, raise money for local causes, raise money for global causes and be a drop in purpose and fulfillment.”
With a growing following, innovative model, and numerous 90-point wines, OneHope will soon become the biggest global direct-to-consumer wine distributor. Now, as announced on Sunday’s Jewish Insider interactive wine tasting, it will add a new distinction to its award winning line: kosher wine.
At the fervent encouragement of friends and kosher wine connoisseur and Jewish Insider wine columnist Yitz Applbaum and Napa vintner Dan Levin, Kloberdanz agreed to expand his vineyard to include facilities capable of producing high-quality kosher wine under the OneHope label.
A rapidly growing industry, kosher wine largely originates in the vineyards of Israel. Bottles from these vintners vary greatly in price and quality. OneHope plans on entering the market with bottles that start at $20. “My goal is to fill that middle of the gap,” Kloberdanz said.
But more than produce a high-quality kosher wine at a middle price point, the Kloberdanz-Applbaum-Levin trio plans on producing vintages that, as Kloberdanz explained, are “competitive with any wine regardless of whether it’s kosher or not, that happens to be kosher.”
The group plans on expanding to varietals never previously used in kosher wine-making, including fumé-blanc. “OneHope is located in the most storied agricultural area of the valley,” Levin said. “The available fruit here promises to be great.”
Design and production on the new line has already begun. Along with OneHope director of wine Mari Wells Coyle, the group is testing a variety of red wine blends. Much still remains to be finalized, including the best method to certify the wines as kosher. Though following one of the oldest prescribed rules for winemaking, the team may turn to one of the practice’s newest innovations: a flash-pasteurization process that follows the mevushal method without sacrificing taste.
Kloberdanz plans to complete the first batch later this year. After 18 to 24 months of aging, the wine will hit the market in 2021. He still has to choose a cause for each kosher variety to support — something Kloberdanz hopes will help him give back to the Jewish community.
Applbaum — who estimates that with a cellar of more than 5,000 bottles he is among the top 5% of kosher wine consumers — believes OneHope will become a superb addition to the market. “People want wonderful kosher wines. There are many wonderful kosher wines out there, but the demand is for more.”
Asked how he plans on broadcasting the new wine, Applbaum quickly responded, “I have a very big mouth, I’m going to tell everyone.” But he facetiously warned, “I may buy the whole run myself.”