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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Clairvaux

With all the excitement of my market finds this past week, I had forgotten that I have more photos from our exciting Passport Weekend on the Sierra Oro Trail. Our final stop on the wild weekend was at New Clairvaux Vineyard north of Chico. The Abbey of New Clairvaux is a community of Cistercian or "Trappist" monks that was founded in 1955 when the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky sent a group to California to begin a new monastery to relieve overcrowding at the motherhouse. Fifth-generation winemaker Aimee Sunseri guided the first plantings in 2000 after studying at UC Davis and has done some excellent work since then. She and her husband--who gave us a tour and couldn't contain his excitement--live and breath wine and try new techniques that keep them on the cutting edge of enology and vitaculture.

We loved the wines and also the wonderful setting. Here are some shots of the Vineyard building, which sources tell me is the largest freestanding all-brick building in the area, or in Northern California, or in North America. It's hard to know for sure...

Open the Door        Window into the Wine World

Monks prefer bicycles to get around the abbey grounds.
Monastery Transportation

This door welcomes you to the tasting room.
Winery Door

Eric Lovelin Photography

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