There has long been a connection between monastic orders and alcohol – just think of Chatreuse (made by Carthusian Monks, popular since the 1740s. It is composed of distilled alcohol aged with 130 herbal extracts – and still made under the supervision of monks from the monastery). or Benedictine (originally made as a medicinal liqueur by Benedictine monks in Normandy). Then of course, there are the famous burgundies of Clos du Vougeot. created by Cistercian monks.
In France there is an association of Vins d’Abbayes (wines of the Abbeys) which brings together a number of historic abbeys which produce wines and spirits – both to preserve their heritage and to promote their produce.
The association is holding a tasting in Paris on 27 – 28 March 2020 in the Palais Abbatial de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in Paris 6e.
There are monk winemakers in many wine regions of France, including Burgundy, Provence, the Cotes du Rhone, Champagne and Languedoc – see full list of those abbeys which you can visit here.
Our recommendations would include the Abbaye de Fontfroide in the Corbières (Languedoc) region and the Chateau Ste Rosaline producing some excellent Côtes de Provence rosés in Provence.For more info see Vins d’Abbayes