Monday, March 26, 2018

A Rare Inside Look Into the Kedem Winery

Formed in 1948, Royal Wine Corp. is privately held, family owned and managed with a heritage and a family tradition in the wine industry which spans over 9 generations dating back to 19th century Czechoslovakia.

Today, Royal Wine Corporation is the leading importer, producer and distributor of kosher foods, wines, spirits and liqueurs in the world. Our portfolio represents thousands of items and hundreds of brands from across the globe, and while we are best know for our kosher brands, our reach extends well beyond the Jewish community into the broader market.

Royal Wine Corp.’s mission is to be the premier manufacturer, importer and distributor of specialty wines, spirits and liqueurs from around the world.

The Herzog family has been making wine for generations. They trace their winemaking origins back to Philip Herzog, who made wine in Slovakia for the Austro-Hungarian court more than a century ago. Philip’s wines were so appreciated by Emperor Franz-Josef, that the emperor made Philip a baron. Baron Philip made both kosher and non-kosher wines. The kosher wines were made in a separate cellar and tasted remarkably like his non-kosher wines. Indeed, the wines were made in the same basic manner. However, the kosher wines required a Jewish, Sabbath-observant cellar crew. Eugene brought the family to America in 1948 after the Holocaust. He arrived in New York City with his wife, Sidonia, six of his own children and two additional war orphans. With his winemaking skills, Eugene found a job at a small kosher winery tucked away into a storefront on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. For a paltry salary, he made sweet, Concord-grape wines in the cellar. He also drove the wine delivery truck. But because the company was so poor, he was paid for his driving acumen in company shares, not cash.

By 1958, all the other shareholders had given up their shares. They assumed the business was doomed to failure. Eugene and his sons, who all went to work at the winery, proved them wrong. They called their new product Kedem.

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