Rome Newsroom, Jun 5, 2021 / 03:00 am
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 this month 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 said.
“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.