The Vodka Masters

Nearly 200 years ago, a family of vodka masters fled the Russian Empire to escape religious persecution and settled in Tzfat, now within the borders of Israel. To this small and spiritually devout village — a center of the study of the Jewish spiritualism, called Kabbalah — the family brought the vodka making secrets that it had perfected since the eighteenth century. One attraction of Tzfat was its access to a superlative supply of water: the nearby Sea of Galilee, a place of spiritual renown and the world’s lowest fresh water source. Water is crucially important in the vodka-making process. The Sea of Galilee draws from the pure tributaries which run down Mt. Meron, Mt. Hermon and the Golan Heights.

From this line of vodka artisans comes Yossi Gold, the master distiller of AVIV® 613. His father was a master distiller, as were his grandfather and great-grandfather. Gold learned the family secrets of vodka-making and combined that knowledge with his passion for excellence.


American businessman Marc Grossfield and Israeli master distiller Yossi Gold joined forces in 2005. Their goal was to create a vodka that could be at the heart of the great moments in people’s lives.

The company began taking shape when an Israeli friend approached Grossfield, asking a simple question: “are you interested in vodka?” Grossfield’s answer was yes — vodka had been his drink of choice for years. As the friend explained that he knew Gold and detailed the Gold family’s distinguished history as vodka artisans in the Russian empire and Israel, Grossfield was intrigued but wondered what would come of this knowledge. He saw little opportunity for involvement because Gold was not looking for investors.

Even so, Grossfield conceived the idea of introducing a new and unique vodka to American connoisseurs and could not shake it off. He had long known Eddie Phillips, the highly successful creator and importer of spirits who owned the North American rights to Belvedere Vodka. After Grossfield met Gold during a visit to Israel, he spoke with Phillips about the prospects of a new luxury vodka that would be infused with positive elements. Phillips agreed that this new vodka, soon named AVIV® 613, could break new ground, and he agreed to mentor Grossfield by sharing his knowledge of vodka making and marketing.


Grossfield and Gold soon agreed to create a new vodka company inspired by heightening the spiritual and celebratory potential of the world. Grossfield asked Gold if he could produce a vodka distilled from seven ingredients indigenous to Israel. Gold quickly went to work on developing the vodka’s intricately balanced mixture of grain and fruit distillations.

Grossfield values his connection with Gold, which transcends business and has become a close friendship. Grossfield regards Gold as a brilliant man — a pilot, a medical doctor fluent in five languages, a master distiller and a perfectionist. You would have to be a perfectionist, Grossfield attests, to create and produce AVIV® 613 Vodka.


AVIV® 613 Vodka is dedicated to creating a product that helps us celebrate special moments, milestones and events in our lives, but more than that, we seek to make the world a better place. As an artisan-crafted vodka brand and appreciator of creativity, AVIV® is proud to provide support to artists and arts organizations nationwide. AVIV® also pledges 10% of its profits to charities around the world.

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