By Claudia de Benedetti, first published in Italian at Shalom.it
As part of the European Days of Jewish Culture 2022 programme, two of the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes, the European Routes of Jewish Heritage (and AEPJ as its network carrier) and ITER VITIS, are organising a joint event in Tel Aviv for the first time. The event, hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute directed by Dr. Maria Sica, who has agreed to host the Cultural Routes, will be held on 12 September and in keeping with this year’s theme will deal with innovation, in this case innovation in kosher viticulture in Italy.
Speakers for AEPJ will be Judith Kiriaty and Uri Bar Ner of the Kiriaty Foundation, for ITER VITIS President Emanuela Panke, Rabbi Umberto Piperno will give a lecture on viticulture in the Jewish tradition.
From the Menorà stamped as a sign of kasherut on Roman amphorae to the logos of the major certifying bodies, so much wine has passed under the bridges of the Tiber of the Po, countless are the places of Jewish presence. From the masters of the Renaissance to the travellers of the 19th century, each community produced wine for internal consumption or for international trade: today, the goal is increasingly to produce a kosher wine of at least equal quality to the non-kosher one, respecting the halacha but also territorial identity, to allow knowledge and flavours to expand.
The Cultural Routes is a special programme of the Council of Europe that has been promoting culture, tourism, heritage and landscape for over thirty years through themes involving the entire old continent. Among the 48 itineraries certified to date, the best known to the public are The Way of St. James and The Via Francigena. The Council of Europe has always encouraged the Itineraries to actively collaborate with each other with a never trivial sharing to enhance each excellence. AEPJ, network carrier of the European Routes of Jewish Heritage and ITER VITIS have had a protocol linking them since 2016 and are finalising the proposal for an Itinerary of Jewish gastronomy and kosher wines, considered by the promoting bodies to be among the most deeply rooted symbols of European identity.
The Azerbaijian tourist office, also in Tel Aviv, will present a second event on 14 September to promote the Caucasian section of the two itineraries.
Rabbi Piperno will guide those present on a virtual tour of the best Italian kosher wineries, at the end of which a tasting of some Italian kosher labels from Tuscany and Piedmont will be offered.