New Clairvaux Abbey's Vineyard Now Certified Organic

The monks of Our Lady of New Clairvaux Abbey, located in Vina, CA, supports their monastic life by farming, including cultivating wine grapes and making international award winning wine.  Recently, the monks announced that their vineyards have met the exacting standards of organic certification.  The vineyard manager, Br. Luis Cortez, explains:

“Good news! The community recently received news of its organic certification for monastery vineyard blocks St. James and Trinity. This certification follows a three-year probation period required by California Certified Organic Farmers, the largest certifier in the nation, wherein we transform our farming practices to exclude chemicals and farming practices that could pose risks to the health of persons and the land. Our patrons and guests can be assured that we have, in the spirit of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, made decisions for the betterment of the earth and for the enhanced safety of all our valued guests.

New Clairvaux goes organic: rows of grapevines on trellis
Concretely, this certification means that we use only natural and non-synthetic products to control grape diseases. We also promote biodiversity in the vineyard by planting cover crops that attract beneficial insects and keep the soil from being eroded by the wind. Owl boxes also adorn our vineyard now: we’re hoping to attract barn owls to help out with gopher control (if you know any, tell ‘em we got a great place—rent free!). There’s more to certification, of course, but this brief description gives you a taste of the type of changes we have made.
I will make it clear that our wine is not certified organic, only our grapes. Organic wine is the subject of another conversation…  But until then, our wines can be described as containing organic ingredients, which is pretty cool.

For all this we praise God. We are most grateful that we have been able to put into practice some of the ideals taught by the Church through our Holy Father, Pope Francis. It is not easy; it requires sacrifices and extra effort, but it can be done. We pray that this small achievement will encourage us and all our friends to further realize the vision our Church has for the protection and enhancement of our shared home—Earth, and for the promotion of the dignity, health, and safety of all God’s people.”

Visit the New Clairvaux Abbey’s website to check out their selection of award winning wines.