Le Barroux, France: The Abbey of Sainte- Madeleine du Barroux (the First Papal Vineyard)
About the Abbey:
A place of peace and retreat, the Abbey here welcomes visitors for both individual and group retreats. Receiving temporary guests is one of the best known characteristics of Benedictine life.
A one-day or longer spiritually uplifting stay at the abbey of Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux provides you with an opportunity for silence, enabling you to discover a closer personal contact with God.
The Abbey receives adult and younger men for individual retreats of up to one week. During your stay, you can take part in the monks’ prayers and sing in the liturgical offices. This is also a time of silent prayer – and an opportunity to join, to some extent, in the life of the Community. Guests have an individual cell, and have their meals with the monks, listening with them to the readings at the refectory.
Beside the books in their cells, a library and a reading room are at the guests disposal.
Masses and daily offices (both sung and read) are in Latin and the Mass is the extraordinary (Latin) form. There are lodging facilities, a dining room and gift shop.
The wines of Via Caritatis & the first Papal Vineyard:
Producing wine is the main means of support for the Abbey, and the history here is quite unique. In 1305, Pope Clement V moved to Provence, and in 1309, the first papal vineyard was planted in the foothills of Mount Ventoux .
The winegrowers in Mont Ventoux formally established a winery on the same location of the papal vineyard on March 24, 1929.
In 1986 the Benedictine Monks of Saint Madeleine returned back to the Mont Ventoux winery. The Ventoux winegrowers restored the old terraces, some of which dated from 400-500 A.D, and created exceptional vineyards, cultivated according to specifications previously unheard of in Provence.
In 2011, the monks consulted with leading wine growing experts to formulate plans to modernize their growing methods while observing guidelines for organic agriculture, enabling them to present a broader range of wines.
The winegrowers began to implement the new growing methods and plant an assortment of terraces, improving the quality of the wines produced.
Following a bountiful harvest in 2015, the monks, nuns, and local winegrowers of the region cemented their partnership with wine growing experts under a shared name: Via Caritatis. They are committed to excellence, responsible stewardship of nature, and the faithful continuation of the profound legacy they inherited.
The result? Some of the finest wine France has to offer.
Something you might not know (at least we didn’t know)…the difference between a winegrower and a winemaker…. A winegrower is the term applied to the one who grows the grapes, and a winemaker turns those grapes in to wine.
Now you can get wines from Via Catitatis in the U.S.A.
A special note to residents of the U.S.A.: in the past, due to FDA regulations, you could not order wine directly from the abbey. That has now changed….The abbey has a distributor in the U.S.A., so you now can get these great wines shipped directly to your home or office. They make a unique gift as well.
Click here for a video from EWTN made at La Barroux.
The Abbey is located about 20 miles northeast of Avignon, which is the nearest train station connecting to other cities in France. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here
Address: 1201 chemin des Rabassières 84330 LE BARROUX
GPS coordinates: 44° 9′ 9.6588” N, 5° 5′ 54.1680” E
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 62 56 31 Fax: +33 (0)4 84 50 84 57
email: (see the contact page on their website)
Click here for the official website of Abbaye du Barroux in Le Barroux, France.