Wine is an expression of place. A special way to taste and smell the unique qualities of a region. The soil, air, and microclimate of the Niagara Peninsula all come together to create an up-and-coming world class wine region, yielding a unique experience that cannot be recreated anywhere else in the world. Avraham Gislason, founder, and winemaker of Tzafona Cellars, saw the special nature of the Niagara Peninsula, and the amazing wines that were coming out of the local producers. It is this expression of terroir that was the prime motivator in the creation of Tzafona Cellars.
The idea was to employ the best winemaking practices and techniques, using grapes of only the highest quality, to produce premium wines that represent and express the region. We would strive to make high-quality wines that can compete on a world scale. However, there was one other ingredient missing. There was no kosher wine being produced to represent the Niagara Region. We wanted to ensure that the kosher consumer would also be able to experience and appreciate great wines from the peninsula.
Starting with the 2014 vintage, Tzafona began to produce kosher wines using the same techniques and high-quality grapes used in producing other premium non-kosher wines. Since then, Tzafona has continued to produce a variety of different wines, namely, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and Chardonnay. We have produced award-winning Icewines in the Vidal, Riesling, and Gewurtzraminer varietals. In 2016 we began to produce a line of refreshing semi-sweet wines under our brand “Nava Blanc” and “Nava Ruby.” Our wines have been sold in Canada, U.S.A, Israel, and U.K.
In 2021, David Khazanski joined the Tzafona team, and with his input and leadership, the company began to purchase and develop over 100 acres of vineyard property, and we are currently in the process of building a winery facility in Niagara on the Lake. As part of our ongoing growth, we are working toward transitioning to organic farming, adding a level of quality and environmental consciousness to our endeavours. We aim to provide the world with an organic, kosher, premium wine experience that expresses the unique nature of the Niagara Peninsula… A taste of the north.
Rabbi Avraham Gislason
When our founders realized it’s time to make the world know about their passion.
First ever Kosher, Icewine of Ontario
Expanded our portfolio more by introducing Nava Blanc and Nava Ruby, semi-sweet wines
Cultivated Tzafona vineyards to further develop our wines
Plans of transiting to organic farming, adding a level of quality and environmental consciousness to our endeavours.
As part of the agricultural industry, we fully depend on our surrounding, just as it depends on us. That’s why we grow our produce organically and sustainably. Over the past decades the carbon footprint of the winery has been positive, which is something we’re really proud of.
Why is Kosher or kashrut significant? If not health or physical well-being, what is the goal of the dietary laws? The answer is found in the Torah itself. “You shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I [the Lord] am holy.”
Kashrut is a way of welcoming the holiness of Judaism into our daily lives. At each meal, we rededicate ourselves to the high standards of Jewish living and behaviour. The network of Jewish values — loving our neighbour, caring for the widow and orphan, affirming a connection to the Jewish people, and establishing God’s rule on earth — gain strength and depth through the regular practice of kashrut.