Camuna Cellars Norton Pennsylvania Red 2022
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Eli Silins began his wine journey back in 2004 at a biodynamic winery in Australia. In 2013 he started making wine in California, and in 2019 he and his wife moved from Berkeley to Philadelphia. “I started making wine in California and didn’t really think too much about hybrids as there were so many vinifera varieties to explore. When I moved to Philadelphia, you couldn’t talk about local wine without mention of Chambourcin, which I had never even heard of until then. I started to learn more about the predominant hybrids grown in the region.. Cayuga white, Vidal blanc, Chambourcin, Traminette.. I’ve always been excited about regionality and lesser known varieties, how a place and its produce become intertwined. Hybrid grapes offer a chance to develop that relationship in a growing region where that relationship is still being discovered. There’s an opportunity to grow grapes here that work in this environment and can speak of this place."
His Norton comes from grapes in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Dark raspberry with some gamey notes of beef jerky. Very gulpable, great with a chill.
Eli is not just an exciting new voice in East Coast wines, but he is working under a new Kosher certification that is more aligned with the values of natural winemaking. He told me, “The Camuna project inspired a local Rabbi friend to start Green Mountain Kosher, a grassroots heimish “punk rock” hechsher alternative for folks who opt out of pursuing costly mainstream certification. It's meant to help small Kosher producers connect with congruous consumers who value transparency, community, and informed choice, while also following Halakha.” Jonathan Kemp