Herzog Wine Cellars
Winemaker: Joe Hurliman
Nestled within the strawberry fields and farm rows of Oxnard, California, lies Herzog Wine Cellars. Here, under the watchful eye of head winemaker Joe Hurliman, the winery combines the artisan craft of premium California winemaking with the Herzog family’s unyielding commitment to excellence.
Select grapes produced specifically for Herzog wines are chosen from vineyards in California's most regarded appellations. Grown under careful watch, only the best fruits are harvested and brought to the winery. From here, Joe Hurliman searches out inspiring blends of aroma, flavours and colours, refined by the winery into masterful creations to be enjoyed across the globe.
Guests of Herzog Wine Cellars experience a wine making legacy spanning nine generations, in a stylish and modern winery that is nothing less than au courant. The grounds feature a lavish granite tasting bar, private tasting rooms, boutique and outdoor terrace.
The Herzog family has been making wine for a long time. 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. The Baron Herzog wines—a line of premium yet moderately priced California varietals—are named to commemorate the honour.
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.
After World War II, Eugene Herzog, the head of the Herzog family, moved the whole family to the United States.
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. They moved to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn with only enough money to rent a two-bedroom tenement flat. 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. (European grape varieties for dry wines were not easy to obtain in post-World War II New York.) 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.
For years the shares were worthless, but 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 venture Royal Wines, in deference to their grandfather, Philip.
In 1985, the Herzog family decided to expand their winemaking operations to California, where they make wine under two separate labels: Baron Herzog and Herzog Wine Cellars. After twenty years of renting space in various wineries, the family was finally able to build its own state-of-the-art winery just south of Santa Barbara, in the town of Oxnard. Here, under the supervision of head winemaker Joe Hurliman, Herzog Wine Cellars has created a centre for high-end contemporary winemaking in a tradition that dates back nearly six centuries.
Royal Wine Corporation Herzog Family are also owners of the biggest kosher wine traders in the world. The last few decades, they have produced the most popular kosher wine, under world-known wineries. They are also the largest importers of Israeli wine to the US with empowers them to be the leader in the kosher wine market. Royal Wine Corp.’s mission is to be the premier manufacturer, importer and distributor of specialty wines from around the world.
The commitment to perfection and family tradition spans over eight generations, and has experienced growth since the beginning. Royal's portfolio of domestic and international wines range from traditional wine producing regions of France, Italy and Spain to up and coming ones like Israel, New Zealand and Argentina.