"Oxnard--David Herzog Family History a remarkable adventure" The Editor's Vineyard


An evening with David Herzog proved to be an unforgettable experience. It all took place at Herzog Wine Cellars Tasting Room and Tierra Sur Restaurant located in Oxnard.

It was David's first return visit to the Oxnard facility since the new winery was opened in July 2005. And ours as well. Some 55 invited guests were on hand to break bread with David Herzog and listened with breathless interest as he related the history of his family going back eight generations. It is a fascinating saga. From the 1600s the family moved to various places in central Europe from Bohemia to what is now Czechoslovakia and Slovania as well as Hungary.

Some prospered and became favorites of Emperors and one so much so that he was renamed Herzog and a Baron. But as regimes and the map of Europe changed the family business of making spirits and wines suffered reverses as well.

David Herzog's account of how his Father somehow saved his immediate family from the horrors of the Nazi holocaust made for somber moments related without heroics but revealing the reverence the Family has always maintained for God. Helpful friends saved the family from the Nazi but after the War the Communists took over the country and their business.

David Herzog was still a small child when his Father finally left all behind in Europe and arrived in New York. Here again a saga with both successes and failures as his Father struggled with a small Kosher Winery in New York's Lower East Side. Here David Herzog's wonderful sense of humor showed well as he related this part of the story. And how success was finally achieved when the fateful decision was made to make dry Kosher wines as well as the, till then, traditional wines from Concord grapes.

Here too David Herzog revealed his own business acumen and his gifts as a salesman in building a wine empire that now includes several countries.

All of this was accompanied by an memorable dinner prepared by Tierra Sur Chef Todd Aarons accompanied by wines made by Winemaker Joe Hurliman, who was on hand to describe them.

Fireman John

Sonoma Coast Vineyards founder John Drady is an active firefighter and has combined his occupation with a passion for winemaking. We liked both John Drady's support of fire department fund raising across America and his 2006 Fire Station Red 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine includes eight per cent Petite Sirah to the bottling. The vintage offers bold flavors and there is a lushness that remains for a long finish. The first vintage in 2001 met favor in competitions and has continued to do so each year. At $15 we thought this a wine of exceptional value.

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Last Update:3/1/09

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