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(last modified 8/18/2010)
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The original GAN
EDEN 40,000 case winery facility, 20.3 acre Sebastopol property
(with 17 plantable acres, suitable for extremely fine Chardonnay
and Pinot Noir, among others) and use permit is up for sale again
by the people who purchased it from my original investors
(family) and me. I would dearly love to get investors together,
repurchase the property, and revive the GAN EDEN brand name.
After 5 years away from the wine industry, I managed to recharge
and reinvigorate myself. I am actually making wine again, as
winemaker of a maximum 45,000 case facility in the Santa Clarita
area, and having fun. In fact, I'm excited about the prospects
for the first time in ages, and considering perhaps beginning
anew as a winemaking entrepreneur, eventually, especially if I
can create my own brand along with my new position. Anyone
wishing to invest in a new winery venture, please contact me,
Craig Winchell, at 818-505-8618, or cell 707-494-7095. I'd be
willing to throw the GAN EDEN brand name into this new venture,
but there's nothing wrong with starting a new label. I
Counterfeit GAN EDEN Wine
There's a fellow named
Simon in Los Angeles who is selling counterfeit GAN EDEN wine.
Since I have so little GAN EDEN left, and since I'm not currently
producing it (although I still own the brand name and trademark),
I have decided not to pursue action against him at this time- it
is simply not cost effective. So if any of you are approached by
him to purchase GAN EDEN wine, please understand that what he is
doing is criminal and unethical, and that the wine you will be
purchasing is not GAN EDEN and is not certified kosher by the OU.
I understand that he is selling something with faux GAN EDEN
labels as mevushal 2000 Cabernet. Please note that even though I
did produce a 2000 Cabernet, it was never mevushal, so I know it
could not be my wine. If he is selling Chardonnay that is
mevushal, it would also be counterfeit.
finished selling limited amounts of GAN EDEN brand wines,
and of course, Yayin Corp. is officially closed, due to
difficulties in providing Jewish Education for our children. We
have moved to Los Angeles, and the winery facility has been sold.
I (Craig Winchell) was still selling what was left (a significant
number of cases) at the sale prices listed above, well under half
the typical retail price, but finally ran out. These were the
last of the GAN EDEN inventory pre-2005, when we sold the
Tale of some Bubbles: I made a decision
years ago to bottle my wines under a carbon dioxide atmosphere,
rather than nitrogen, in order to minimize oxidation and increase
aging capacity. If the wine is cold during bottling, it has
greater potential to pick up this CO2, and it becomes dissolved
in the wine. Upon uncorking the bottles, many of my wines have an
initial spritz because of this. The CO2 blows off in a matter of
minutes. Bubbles can also be an indication of microbial spoilage.
How can one tell the difference? Very easily, in fact! Turbidity
(cloudiness) is evident only in the spoiled wine, often
accompanied by off-flavors. The fact is that many wine spoilage
microorganisms can cause gas, but the evidence for their growth
is cloudiness in the wine. Absent the cloudiness, there can be
nothing fundamentally wrong with the wine causing the excess CO2.
times through the years, people have called expressing alarm and
disdain about the dissolved CO2 in my wines, believing it to be
due to spoilage. Only once in 20 years was it actually found to
be due to wine spoilage, and that was in a sweet wine. Recently,
I received a call from a consumer concerning my "gassy"
Cabernet. I make no apologies for the dissolved CO2, because it's
one of the reasons I can continue to sell high quality wine a
decade after harvest. Any fan of GAN EDEN wines has, I'm sure,
run into this over the years. I just wanted to let consumers know
that I'm not warrantying the wine against a slight spritz. In
fact, I'm guaranteeing that you'll probably run into it.
EDEN wines,the quality and distinction are in the bottle, whether
you're looking for California or Kosher!
dependable, wholesome. These are fine descriptions for all manner
of foods: American cheese, baby food, white bread. And by and
large, these are apt descriptions for the vast majority of better
quality kosher wines on the market today. There's nothing wrong
with that. The marketplace has been deluged with poor or
indifferent quality kosher wine for so long that "solid,
dependable, wholesome" represents a welcome change. Quality
wine is always a "plus".
consumer wants more than American cheese. Maybe Cheddar or Swiss
or Mozzarella, no matter how good the quality, is not enough to
satisfy him. For him and those like him, the cheese world has
evolved a vast array of more interesting examples: Brie,
Camembert, Pont L'Eveque, Port Salut. And even more interesting,
Livarot, Mariolles, true Alsatian Munster. These each offer
unique flavors, textures and aromas, and for that, they're adored
by some consumers, scrupulously avoided by others. Bold,
exciting, inspiring, unique.
consumer wants more than the typical commercially styled wine.
For that, the kosher wine world has evolved GAN EDEN. At GAN
EDEN, we always strive to produce wines which are bold, exciting,
inspiring, innovative, unique, wines which can stand head-to-head
with other exciting wines produced specifically for the
non-kosher market. This presents a marketing dilemma: such wines
evoke strong feelings and emotions. People tend to love them or
hate them. That's not a way to sell large volumes of wine, and
that's why it's rare in the kosher market, dominated as it is by
large, impersonal marketing companies devoted exclusively to
maximizing their profits. Nothing wrong with that, but at GAN
EDEN, we also like to have fun, to be proud, to inspire others to
follow their dreams. And the biggest advantage is that we end up
with bold, exciting, inspiring, innovative, unique wines to
drink, the kinds of wines we love, and which few other kosher
producers make available. Well, we're closed now, but hoping soon
to begin making GAN EDEN again.
GAN EDEN wines
have been called the "finest kosher wines in the world"
by James Halliday in his Wine Atlas of California. GAN EDEN wines
are quirky and individualistic in terms of styling. They appeal
to those who want a full, robust flavor, in stark contrast to the
majority of California wines produced these days, which are
almost clones of each other in terms of styling. GAN EDEN's
Chardonnays are generally crisp and fruity, remarkable wines for
serving with fish, as opposed to the oaky, low acid wines
typically produced in the industry. GAN EDEN's premium reds,
notably the Syrah and the Limited Reserve Cabernet, are full,
complex and rich. Our reds are often released to the public after
long maturation in bottle, and therefore are released later than
wines from other producers from similar vintages. This places us
at a competitive disadvantage in terms of the marketplace, which
likes to tout the newest vintage, but places us at a competitive
advantage in terms of flavor, richness and complexity. Our wines
were generally not mevushal, but there were 2 notable
exceptions-- our cuvee "Les Trois Canards" superpremium
red, and our cuvee "C'est Bouilli!" (Chardonnay). Both
are exceptional wines for their types, stylistically different
than the norm of mevushal kosher offerings out there, and
certainly do not taste mevushal.
GAN EDEN wines
competed favorably, in terms of flavor and quality, against
nonkosher wines in their price ranges. Just a look at our medals
list should be quite an eye-opener. Our last releases won 41
medals in 2002 and 39 in 2003. But just as important as quality
to many (notably those of my consumers who are Jewish) is the
kashrus of the wines. Since the inception of our brand, GAN EDEN
wines have been made in our own facility, located in Sebastopol,
California, in the heart of the Green Valley viticultural region,
a sub-appellation of the Russian River viticultural region. Until
the time of bottling, GAN EDEN wines are generally handled and
manipulated by only one person, GAN EDEN's eccentric winemaker,
Craig Winchell, under the supervision of the Orthodox Union. At
bottling, when others are present in the winery, it is with
full-time OU supervision. Consumers can rest assured that Craig,
an Orthodox Jew himself (and perhaps the only Orthodox Jew in the
world with a winemaking degree from the University of California
at Davis, which houses one of the world's most highly respected
schools of winemaking), is producing wines to a very high kashrus
standard, as well as often being truly interesting wines of a
quality which Craig would, and does, drink. Craig, who produced
elegant and distinctive nonkosher wines prior to becoming
observant 22 years ago, produces kosher wines with no less care
than he used to produce his award winning nonkosher wines. The
wines are certainly worth a try, both by those for whom kashrus
is important, and by those who value distinctive quality.
No, we are not open
to the public. Our facility has been sold, and later we closed
our distribution and retail sales, so are no longer a licensed
California wine distributor and mail-order merchant. It would be
wonderful if we could once again establish a winery facility and
again produce distinctive GAN EDEN wines.
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