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Travel Bargain destination in California

HERZOG WINE CELLARS - OXNARD
Kosher and California Wines with an Imperial History

Herzog Wineery Oxnard EntranceWhat is kosher wine? Pretty much the same as the regular kind. Officially, it’s just that the winemakers who handle the process are Sabbath observant Jewish. The idea of what one usually thinks of as kosher is the sweet grape wine which appears in stores around Passover, but that is mostly due to the grapes from the east coast in times past. In California, the Baron Herzog Winery in Oxnard is changing the perception. With the brand on sale on supermarket shelves beside the familiar Napa and other varietal names, in fact you might not even notice the religious connection at all.

Baron Herzog photgraphThe name traces back to Phillip Herzog, a winemaker in Slovakia who made wines for the Austro-Hungarian royal court befpe the turn of the last century. The Herzog wines were so well thought of that the Emperor Franz-Josef made Philip Herzog a baron. Baron Philip made both kosher wines and non-kosher for his different clients. The kosher wines were fermented in a separate cellar, but tasted essentially the same as the other cellar. The winemaking stopped during the war years. The baron’s grandson Eugene hid the family from the Nazis in the Slovakian countryside, to emerge after the war and reclaim the winery. But the post war communist days of didn’t look much better, and the Herzogs left for New York in 1948.

Wine Tasting Room Herzog WineryIn 1985, the Herzog family established winemaking operations in California, with two separate labels - Baron Herzog, a line of premium, award winning, but moderately priced California varietal wines honouring the old baron’s imperial past, and Herzog Wine Cellars. After two decades of renting space in various locations, the family opened their state-of-the-art winery in a neighbourhood in the town of Oxnard, just south of Santa Barbara. Under the supervision of head winemaker Joe Hurliman the Herzog Wine Cellars is a modern and efficient center for top of the class contemporary winemaking, yet made with a tradition that goes back almost six centuries.

The vintners of Herzog Wine Cellars don’t have their own vines, but acquire their grapes from various vineyard suppliers in Northern and Central California, with select grapes grown especially to be produced in Oxnard based winery. Wine tasting is offered at the elegantly decorated granite tasting bar and gift boutique. Private tasting rooms are available for special occasions and events.

Tierra Sur Restaurant
Tierra Sur RestaurantWithin the Herzog Wine Cellars winery is one of the best restaurants to be found in the Oxnard area, the Tierra Sur Restaurant of Chef Todd Aaron, an award winning Californian born chef who has returned to his roots after his time at the Restaurante Da Delfina in Tuscany, the Savoy in Manhattan and Zuni Café in San Francisco. The Tierra Sur features Mediterranean influenced seasonal cuisine sourcing abundant local grown produce, with a rustic, unpretentious style. Highlights include pomegranate-marinated lamb, wild king salmon and aged rib-eye steak cooked outdoors over an open flame. The menu also offers house-made organic corn tortillas with exotic fillings such as birria (chili-braised lamb) with salsa cruda and a grilled achiote-marinated red snapper with tomatillo salsa. A prix fixe wine tasters dinner with Herzog wine pairings to match each course is a popular offering at the Tierra Sur.
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Herzog Wine Cellars

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