The Abbey of New Clairvaux: Wine in the Wilderness
The soil in Tehama County is unfit, and the temperatures are all wrong, but the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux are still trying to make wine here. It’s part of their ancestry. Cistercian monks have made wine in Europe since the 12th century. In California, they’re turning to those traditions to try to survive in the 21st. The monks of New Clairvaux have a website, a Facebook page, a PR guy. They host wine release parties. I went up to Tehama County to meet the monks who engage with the outside world all so they can pray in peace.