Two bottles of an Israeli wine that is banned in some parts of the world due to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish State, sold for a record $12,000 each during an auction in Miami on Tuesday.
The historic sale of the wine from Psagot Winery in Israel took place on Tuesday evening during a fourth, annual, private dinner hosted in collaboration with Psagot and the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) in Miami, Florida.
Both bottles of Psagot Edom wines brought in $24,000, all of which have gone to help the work of WIZO, which was founded in 1920 in direct response to the needs of women and children in Israel. The bidding started out with one bottle between Larry Freidman and Nava Izak, who kept outbidding each other before Psagot agreed to offer another bottle to the auction. Both men were able to go home with one bottle, which they each paid $12,000 for.
Tickets for the luxurious dinner costed $1,800 and featured food prepared by Chef Marcus Gershkovich of Angelica gourmet restaurant in Jerusalem.
Psagot Winery, which was founded in 2003, is targeted by BDS and is banned from being sold in many parts of Europe and throughout the world. However, they have flourished in the face of adversity. The winery, which was started by CEO Yaakov Berg in 2003, began distribution with just 3,000 bottles and now produce 300,000 bottles annually.
Tuesday night’s historic auction sent a loud message to the BDS movement that the Jewish people are pushing back against attempts to undermine Israel’s economy. Psagot is located in Jerusalem Hills, near Ramallah which is considered part of the West Bank.
On Wednesday, approximately $150,000 worth of items from the West Bank were distributed at the annual Kosher Food and Wine Festival in order to defy the BDS movement.
According to Psagot’s CEO Yaakov Berg, he and several of his employees were examining their new crops when they “came upon a hole in the ground. It was filled with mud, but we could see that it had once been inhabited. With our hands, with spoons, with the careful devotion of a doting parent, we carefully emptied the hole of its debris. and started digging carefully with spoons and found this coin along with other remnants that indicated there was wine made there before.”
There were pottery shards, coins with grape leaves embossed on them, and a 2000 year-old wine press among the unearthed artifacts. In addition to that, they discovered “a coin from 68 CE that read in letters I immediately recognized: “Lecheut Ziyon”– for the liberation of Zion.” The ancient winery and coin were from Biblical times.
On the opposite side it bears a standing cup and the statement “Second year of the great rebellion”.
All of Psagot’s Edom bottles have a replica of that ancient coin on them.
Rabbi Schmuley Boteach made the decision to have his son’s Bar Mitzvah (the Jewish coming of age) and his daughter’s Sheva Brachot (wedding blessings given to a bride and groom) at Psagot winery:
“Psagot Winery is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in Israel,” Boteach said. “We were honored to host both our son’s Bar Mitzvah, and our daughter’s Sheva Brachot at the beautiful winery. Not only does Psagot produce wines of international caliber, it has an environment and atmosphere of warmth and some of the most beautiful vistas found anywhere in Israel. At Psagot you feel the purity of the Israeli desert and you hear the whispers of history of the great Judean hills. Psagot is a second home to our family.”
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