Red Bluff Daily News, Calif. (MCT)
New Clairvaux Vineyard, of Vina, recently received a Double Gold, 99-point score and Best of California for all Viognier wines at this year’s California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.
There were nearly 2,000 wines from more than 440 wineries entered this year. It was among the 18 Best of California awards given out and one of less than 100 Double Golds awarded. New Clairvaux Vineyard’s 2021 St. James Block Viognier is being released at this year’s Blessing of the Grapes ceremony being held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 23.
“Br. Luis, vineyard manager of St. James Block, grows some of the most beautiful fruit I have had the honor to work with” said Aimée Sunseri, fifth generation California winemaker and winemaker for New Clairvaux for the past 19 years. “When you are in an unknown region and for winegrowing that means you are the underdog, you have to work a lot harder. I cannot thank our team of lay workers and Brothers from the Abbey for all their hard work to get us so close to perfection.”
New Clairvaux Vineyard has been growing grapes since 2000 when the Abbey of New Clairvaux and Phil Sunseri partnered to create New Clairvaux Vineyard and revitalize grape growing and winemaking in Vina. The first grapes planted in this region was more than 175 years ago, before California was even part of the United States. Nearly 4,000 acres of wine grapes were pulled out just before Prohibition began in 1919. The 1970s saw a sprinkling of wine grapes planted in the region, but never a winery focused on fruit from Vina.
New Clairvaux’s annual Blessing of the Grapes ceremony dates back to a 1400-year-old tradition of blessing vineyards before harvest begins. The July 23 event will be the winery’s 16th annual event and for the first time in 2 years it is inviting the public back to enjoy the celebration.
There will be a Monk Market featuring monk made goods as well as local agricultural vendors will open at 9 a.m. with the Blessing occurring at 10:30 a.m. Wine tasting, tours, and food from local mobile caterers will be available after the conclusion of the ceremony. There is no charge for entry to join in their celebration.
The 99-point Viognier wine will be available for tasting and purchase.
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