“Wine maketh glad the heart of man.” (Psalm 103:15)
Orthodox monasteries have a long and storied tradition of both viticulture and winemaking. And of course, we know that Christ’s first miracle was the turning of water into wine (John 2:1-11). On the Holy Mountain nearly every monastery farms its own vineyard and vinifies wine for both liturgical use and for moderate use at the table according to the Typikon and fasting calendar. Some of the most important wine regions of the world owe their history and greatness to the dedication of monastics.
Currently the monks make three wines, a Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah, made from grapes sourced from notable vineyards in the Napa and Sonoma AVAs. The grapes are shipped to Texas where the monks conduct the entire winemaking process on the holy grounds of the monastery. In 2011, the monastery became a bonded winery, allowing the fathers to sell to the general public.
The fathers appreciate the intersection of history, agriculture and science that goes into the production of a bottle of wine. Without the assistance from their mentor, master winemaker and Napa Valley native, John Kongsgaard, the winemaking endeavors very well may have come to naught. In John, they are humbled to have the friendship of one of the world’s great winemakers. Through John and his wife Maggy’s kindness, the fathers have been introduced to many of their winemaking friends – Lee and Christina Hudson, Dawnine and Bill Dyer, Chris Howell, Cathy Corison, Andy Erickson, Rosemary Cakebread, among others- who have given them the affectionate nickname, “The Holy Archs”.
Born in California. Raised in Texas. Enjoy at table with family and friends!