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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Petrus 2000 – the first bottle of wine ‘aged in space’ is up for sale

Twelve bottles of Petrus 2000 spent 14 months aboard the International Space Station — and allegedly tastes ‘several years older’ than it is.

This “space wine” left earth November 2019 and was launched into space. The twelve bottles valued at about $6,000 each spent 438 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), where a team of disciplined astronauts refrained from drinking them. The wine circled Earth many times, subject to the uncertain effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation, before finally returning to land aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule on Jan. 14, 2021.

In a statement published May 4, Christie’s auction house announced it will sell a single bottle of the space aged Pétrus 2000 through its Private Sales website (a brokerage service that connects private buyers and sellers outside of the auction house – https://www.christies.com/privatesales/index). The bottle is expected to fetch about $1 million.  It comes packaged in a custom trunk that includes a bottle of terrestrial Pétrus 2000.

Proceeds from this sale will help fund future space-wine research by Space Cargo Unlimited, the private company that sent the bottles to the ISS in 2019. The company has five more wine-related experiments in the works, including a study of the effects of microgravity on grapevine shoots and a plan to study the fermentation process in space, according to Live Science sister site Space.com.

Does space wine taste different?

“I found there was a difference in both color and aromatics and also in taste,” panelist and wine writer Jane Anson told CNN.com.

She added that the space wine tasted “a bit more evolved” than the wine that had remained on Earth, as if it had aged an extra two to three years while in space.

Source:  Space.com

 

 

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More Bordeaux Vineyards Converting to Organic

Increasing numbers of vineyards in Bordeaux are switching to organic methods of production, after lagging behind other French winemaking regions.

According to Patrick Vasseur, vice president of the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture, there are up to date figures available, but anecdotal evidence indicates that around 300 vineyards a year are converting to organic.

 

“It’s quite simple, everyone is switching over” winegrower Philippe Carrille told Vitisphere. His 23-hectare Château Poupille in Castillon Côte de Bordeaux has been certified since 2008.   This surge of new converts, “can only be cause for rejoicing”, added Gwénaëlle le Guillou, director of the New Aquitaine organic wine producers’ organisation (SVBNA). She pointed out that until recently, Bordeaux had trailed well behind other regions, with only 11% of vineyards committed to organic, compared to a national average of 14%.

 

“There are currently significant price differences between organic and conventional, but this will not last,” said Phillipe Cazaux, director of the co-operative group Bordeaux Families.  “Well-deserved added value will remain, though, due to the technical commitments and the risk incurred by the supply side. This year the group has 105 hectares certified organic and 551 hectares in the conversion phase. “Initially, small areas entered the process, but then gradually the larger areas followed suit”, said Cazaux, who plans to convert a fifth of acreage to organic within five years, with a longer-term goal of 1,000 hectares by 2027.

 

Éric Hénaux, director of the Tutiac co-operative group, is adopting a more cautious approach and waiting for the current 620 hectares to be converted by 2022 before making any further plans. “We will see how the market stabilizes,” he said. “A lot of organic wines came on-stream, and prices fell. We have to be careful not to produce more volumes than we have the capacity to sell. The objective is not to sell on the spot market, but to focus on bottles and three-year contracts”.

 

#Bordeaux #Bordeauxvineyards #organicwine #vineyards #frenchwine
#wine #redwine #whitewine #bordeauxwinelovers #winelovers #instawine

What’s in a name? The Bourgogne family explains…

In 2012, on the request of its elected representatives, the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) decided to stop translating the word “Bourgogne”, whatever the country. The aim is to help consumers find their way by ensuring coherence between our wine labels and the name of the region where the wines were created.

Bourgogne wines enjoy a strong global reputation with half of all Bourgogne wines produced being sold at export to around 170 territories. However, the farther the consumer lives from France, the more they struggle to understand our appellation system. They can get their bearings thanks to the wine’s origins, which is the name of this winegrowing region. It is therefore essential to use only one powerful name, a synonym for excellence and the respect for origins: Bourgogne.

Historically, Bourgogne is the only wine-producing region in France whose name is translated into different languages: “Burgundy” for English speakers, “Burgund” for Germans, “Borgogna” in Italian, to name but a few. This dates back to ancient times when the region was established as a crossroads for trade between the north and south and the east and west of Europe, as it still is today.

As such, Bourgogne wine producers and fans find themselves caught up in something of a paradox. The 200 million bottles of Bourgogne wine sold every year have the word “Bourgogne” on their label, either due to their appellation, which might be Bourgogne, Crémant de Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligoté, and so on, or because they are a “Vin de Bourgogne” or a “Grand Vin de Bourgogne”. But consumers can find them amongst a range referred to Burgundy, Burgund, or Borgogna… Confusing, to say the least.

 

“We felt it necessary to return to our original name, Bourgogne, in order to affirm our true identity, in a unified and collective way,” explains François Labet, President of the BIVB. “I’d say that our appellations are like our forenames, which makes Bourgogne our family name. A name that unites us all with our shared values embracing all the diversity of our wines. You don’t translate a family name!”

 

#BourgogneWines #frenchwine #instawine

#Beaune #Burgundy #BurgundyLovers #Wine #Vin #Bourgogne #France

The 60th Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges Wine Auction was an outstanding success!

The 60th Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges Wine Auction was an outstanding success! Driven by online marketing and an increase in first-time buyers, registrations up + 20% over 2020.

2021 established a new record with total sales of €1,923,000 and an increase of +19.11% from 2020. Standout bids included:

  • Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Saint-Georges Cuvée Georges Faiveley pièce sold for €32,000;
  • The “pièce de charité,” 228L of Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Saint-Georges, sold by subscription for €49,380, another record. Proceeds raised from the sale support the Institut Pasteur.

The sale of the 17 cuvées of the red wine made €1,869,000 (+ 17.51% up from the 2020 auction) and the sale of the cuvée of white wine Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er cru Les Terres Blanches – Cuvée Pierre de Pême generated €54,000, i.e. (+ 125% up from the 2020 auction).

Proceeds from the Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges 2021 Wine Auction will support the new Saint Laurent Hospital.

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