A tour through the main European wineries located in ancient monastic sites. Varieties and typologies
represent undisputed oenological peaks
Spread throughout Europe to represent the most important orders of Christianity, communicating with
each other in Latin, the Abbeys have been a thousand places of wine production since the year, custodians
of ancient varieties, centers of agricultural innovation, meditation and prayer. Ora et labora, the
Benedictine rule is the expression of a relationship of balance between the spiritual and literary activity of
the Amanuensis, in a patient cultural work of protection of works of art and sacred and the agronomic one
with the tillage of the earth, the reclamation, the grafting and fertilization practices.
In South Tyrol, the Abbey of Novacella is the best Italian testimony of a great viticulture that goes well with
the richness of Christian culture. Founded in 1142 by Blessed Hartmann, it is alive and active today; the
Augustinian Canons -22 confreres and 25 parishes- follow the work in the countryside between farms and
farms, counting among the oldest operating cellars in Europe. The monastic world of the Rule of Saint
Augustine mixes, in a journey back in time, Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque art and the art of viticulture that
has long marked the work of the monks. Six hectares of vineyards around the Novacella building, twentytwo in the Cornaiano estate of Maso Maklhof, three product lines – Classica, Insolitus and Praepositus –
such as Praepositus Pinot Nero Riserva, expressions of a terroir and synthesis of a nature that is space for
meeting between soul, work and experimentation.
In Alsace, in Colmar, the Hospices de Colmar – Hospice of the Holy Spirit – founded in 1255, was a real
hospital where the religious took care of the sick, pilgrims and the needy, offering them food and shelter.
Often hospital expenses were paid in kind by giving above all agricultural land, sometimes donations and
bequests from generous benefactors. The management of Hospices de Colmar, still owned by the Hospice
Civils Louis Pasteur, is entrusted to the Domaine Viticole de la Ville de Colmar with its 10.5 hectares of the
prestigious Clos Saint-Jacques vineyard. The vineyard of the Hospices, located on a very draining soil that
warms up quickly, in the uniqueness of the Alsatian microclimate, offers great expressions such as Vin
d’Alsace L’Ospice de Colmar Riesling or Gewürtraminer. Powerful and generous wines, with great aging
Altenburg Abbey is located in Limberg, Austria, in the coldest area of the Weinviertel designation of origin.
Founded by Benedictine monks in 1144, in addition to being a place of contact with the word of God, it is
luxuriant nature, surrounded by woods and vineyards that grow on soils of marine deposits. Spiritual
Center of the Order of Benedict of Nursia produces Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel DAC Cru (Ried)
Hohenstein-Limberg and Blauer Zweigelt Cru (Ried) Zweygartl-Limberg.
In Germany, one of the most active abbeys along the banks of the Rhine, between the cities of Frankfurt
and Koblenz, is the Cistercian monastery of Eberbach. In 1135 he received 4 hectares of what will become
the Grand Cru Steinberg as a donation; at the end of the 1400s there was the conversion of the monastic
premises into cellars, elevating it, with its 300 hectares of cultivated area, to the largest winery in Medieval
Europe. Nine hundred years of history, a unique cultural heritage, with viticulture among the main
occupations of the French monks who settled in Koblenz. What was initially intended for personal use soon
turned into a coveted asset that ensured the future and prosperity of the monastery. One of the most
technological winery, known for being the site of the film adaptation of Umberto Eco’s masterpiece “The
Name of the Rose”, boasts the most precious place for the production of Riesling. At 900 meters, towards
Hattenheim, is Steinberg, the excellence of Kloster Eberbach in the oldest vineyard in Germany. Dry Riesling
Baikenkopf GG (Grosses Gewächs) is among the best expressions.
In 1141 the Cistercians of Haut-Cret moved to Switzerland, founding Domaine Clos des Abbayes. Among
their main activities was the cultivation of vines on steep slopes around Lake Lausanne, to which they
dedicated themselves by tilling land, creating terraces and dry stone walls still in use today. Clos des
Abbayes, then called Dézaley de Montheron or d’En Bas, was bequeathed to the city in exchange for its
subjugation and the loss of the title of imperial city. Clos des Abbayes, in the spectacular slopes and in the
particular gravelly clayey morainic terroir, is the ideal place for Chasselas, the autochthonous which
represents over 80% of production. The Clos des Abbayes Grand Cru label is the pride of a great wine with
elegant aromas of flowers and flint. located in the heart of Burgundy, along the Route des Grands Crus, the
famous Château du Clos de Vougeot, which daily welcomes lovers of history, architecture and wine, is a
leap to the origins of transalpine and Burgundian viticulture. And if today its walls are no longer a place of
wine production, it remains the symbol of a thousand years of wine history, since in the twelfth century the
monks of the Abbey of Cîteaux identified the climat, terroirs complex from a geo-pedological point of view.
, which delimited and fenced off for what will be the most famous vineyard in the world.