Monks of France’s First Papal Vineyard Sell Wine to Support the Community

The Benedictine monks and nuns who tend to the first papal vineyard in France have launched an appeal to sell their wine to help the families of local wine growers.

Located on a hill in the Rhône Valley, the Abbeys of Le Barroux work together with the local wine-marking community to cultivate the land first established as a vineyard by Pope Clement V in 1309.

The monks are hoping to sell 15,000 bottles of their Via Caritatis wine during the month of June to help support the community after it was hit hard by a loss of sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fr. Michael, an American who has been a part of the French monastery for more than 30 years, told CNA that around 80 families directly depend on the winery for their livelihood.

“They work hard. They are in difficult conditions. Their wine in the past wasn’t recognized for what it was, which was a pretty high-quality wine, so they were just not making enough money to get by,” the Benedictine states.

“These families around us were making good wines, especially because we have the soil that is capable of producing … great wine, if it was cared for properly … The monastery was able to invest and to help these wine-making families get out of a situation which, all alone, I don’t think that they would have ever been able to get out of,” he explained.

With the help of Philippe Cambie, who has been recognized as one of the world’s top oenologists, or experts in the study of wine and winemaking, the monks have been able to create blends that produce award-winning wines from the combination of small plots of land owned by local growers with the abbey vineyard. Cambie has contributed to the wine production in its last stages at both former papal vineyards, which grow the same grape varieties.

The monks’ wine is less expensive than the nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, which, Fr. Michael points out, was founded later by Pope John XXII.

“You can buy wine for a cheaper price, and yet it can be almost the equivalent of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. And at the same time, by buying this wine you are helping winemakers who are in need of money at this time, and COVID-19 has not helped their situation,” the priest said.

The Benedictines’ Via Caritatis winery is selling red, white, and rosé wines which ship to the United States and elsewhere in Europe – website – http://www.via-caritatis.com/

Fr. Michael said that they chose the name Via Caritatis for their winery because “wine is a symbol of charity, and also the charity of Christ who gave himself.”

The monks support themselves through manual labor, according to the rule of Saint Benedict.

“The monks try and strive to produce something capable of making them not dependent on others, and not only that, but to produce enough to be able to give charity to the poor, to give a part of the income to their poor,” he said. “We give part of our income here, every year, we give it to charitable organizations.”

“A bottle of wine is not just something that man uses to nourish his body,” he said. “If Christ chose wine to transform into his blood, it is for a reason, and he chose wine for a reason. So wine is something material, but it’s something that’s called by Christ to be transformed into something spiritual.”

Source:  The Catholic Telegraph

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Private Clients and Investors invited to bid at Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges Wine Auction on March 14, 2021

This year, for the first time, Burgundian producer Maison Edouard Delaunay is allowing a limited number of private clients and investors the chance to bid at this spring’s 60th Hospices de Nuits Wine Auction which will be held March 14th, 2021.

Since 1961, this “en primeur” sale of 228-litre barrels has been solely for trade buyers, until this year, the négociant will allow a number of private collectors to bid for the first time.

Prospective buyers can purchase a minimum of 24 bottles. They will be welcome (Covid restrictions dependent) to stay at Château de Gilly on Friday, March 12, with a visit to the Maison Delaunay winery on Saturday and then attend a tasting and lunch at the Hospices de Nuits on the day of the auction, Sunday, March 14, 2021.

The wines sold will finish their aging in the cellars of Maison Edouard Delaunay, at Étang Vergy, under the supervision of cellar master Christophe Briotet, recently nominated “best winemaker in the world” by the “International Wine Challenge”.

A Historical Relationship
The historic relationship between Maison Edouard Delaunay and the Hospices de Nuits began long before the first auction in 1961, when Laurent Delaunay’s grandfather bought Hospices de Nuits wines by mutual, exclusive agreement.

The Charity – Hospices de Nuits
Hospices de Nuits consists of a working hospital, a retirement home and one of the most beautiful collections of vineyards of Nuits-Saint-Georges and the Côte de Nuits whose wines are sold at the traditional March auction.

The Hospices de Nuits was founded in 1270 and is historically older than Hospices de Beaune which was founded in 1443. The Hospices de Nuits began offering its wine at auction 60 years ago. Over the centuries the Hospice has been bequeathed numerous vineyards which today comprises of 12.5 hectares. Most of the vineyards are in Nuits-Saint-Georges, covering six parcels of village appellations and nine premier crus, and including Les Didiers.

Laurent Delaunay states: “To bid at the Hospices de Nuits combines the pleasure of buying top wines with the joy of contributing to a great charity.”

For further information, and details of how to sign up and bid https://burgundyauction.wine/

France pours more aid as wine sector faces ‘Major Difficulties’

This week the government of France stepped up financial support for wine growers faced with a deep drop in demand after lockdowns closed restaurants and bars and U.S. tariffs curbed exports.

“The state will increase to 250 million euros its support plan to wine growing and we will request this aid to be distributed as quickly as possible because cash needs are pressing,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday.

Castex made the announcement during a visit to the Menetou-Salon and Sancerre vineyards in the Loire region.

“The international situation, the health crisis, a drop in exports: our wine sector faces major difficulties. State support must continue and intensify,” Castex said on Twitter earlier.

France has already provided some support, but the wine industry has called for more action.

In April, the European Commission decided to support crisis management measures in wine and other agriculture sectors affected by the coronavirus crisis.

In May, France cleared a 140 million euro ($165.87 million)crisis mechanism to distill surplus wine into industrial alcohol to be used to produce hand sanitizers.

Then in June, the government unveiled an additional 30 million euros of support for the wine industry, including 15 million for the launch of a private storage scheme for two million hectolitres of surplus wine, an alternative to distilling.

In addition to the impact of COVID-19, France’s wine industry has suffered from U.S tariffs on imports imposed as part of the trade dispute between the European Union and the United States over aircraft subsidies.

Source:  Reuters

 

Idealwine launches Fine Wine Auction for Healthcare Workers #ProtegeTonSoignant

Online fine wine auction site idealwine has launched a charity auction to raise funds for healthcare workers in France.

Unveiled this week, the auction will run until May 7. The auction includes Château Lafite Rothschild 1996 in a double magnum, and a range of large formats Bordeaux such as Pichon Baron, Phelan Segur and Suduiraut, and Salmanazars from Domaine de la Solitude, Domaine Albert Bichot and Champagne Drappier.

All proceeds will be donated to the #ProtegeTonSoignant collective which is a multidisciplinary team that identifies hospitals’ urgent needs, to buy and deliver the medical equipment.

Just under 1,000 bottles will be up for auction, with donations from 100 domains, which is worth an estimated €60,000-€100,000.

The auction will be live from April 27 until May 7 2020 on the iDealwine.com site.

The auction will be administered by International Wine Auction, the certified public auction operator and subsidiary of iDealwine.

How to Bid

Simply sign up on the iDealwine site.

All proceeds [the hammer price and buyer’s commission (19% excluding tax)] will be donated to the collective. The wines bought will be shipped to buyers by iDealwine (shipping fees apply), or will be available for collection at the iDealwine warehouse (in Paris) after the end of lockdown.

http://www.iDealwine.com

MILLÉSIME BIO 2020 – Pérols, France

International wine Journalists, winemakers, wine marketers, and researchers will head to the south of France January 27-29 2020 for the only trade show dedicated to organic wine.

With green issues and climate change increasingly at the forefront of consumers’ purchasing choices, the importance of organic and biodynamic viticulture has never been more evident. This makes Millésime Bio more relatable than ever.

The 2020 event will introduce the addition of beer and cider makers and is set to be the trade show’s largest event ever. The organizers have increased the space to accommodate the increased number of wineries and businesses delving into the world of organics. Therefore, a fifth hall has been opened to house a further 100 exhibitors.

For 2020 Millésime Bio will take place over three days from 27 to 29 January 2020 at the Montpellier Exhibition Centre in Pérols.

There will be a free-pour area fitted with enotecas that will offer guests the chance to taste wines that have won medals in the annual international Millésime Bio competition. The Challenge Millésime Bio is one of the world’s largest organic wine competitions, which includes a judging panel made up of wine experts and senior buyers, chaired by Jean-Luc Rabanel, the head chef of the two-Michelin-starred restaurant l’Atelier in Arles and founder of the ‘Greenstronomie’ movement.

The fair will also run masterclasses and seminars, with particular attention to organic winemaking, but also changing trends and issues affecting the wider wine trade, including business and marketing.

“It’s safe to say our fair is in very good shape and continues to gather momentum,” Patrick Guiraud, president of Millésime Bio, said.

“This year, we wanted to offer the opportunity for more exhibitors to take part. They’ve been quick to secure their stands and we’ve even had to open a waiting list in September.”

Event Details:

The opening party, organized by SudVinBio, will take place on Monday 27 January.
27 January 2020 from 10am to 7pm
28 January 2020 from 9am to 7pm
29 January 2020 from 9am to 5pm

Address:
Montpellier Exhibition Centre (Parc des Expositions de Montpellier), Route de la Foire, 34470 Pérols, France

Website:
https://www.millesime-bio.com/en