The monks of the Lerins Abbey organized their ninth auction of the wines of the Clos de la Charité for the benefit of 9 humanitarian associations.
The island of Saint Honorat and the Lerins Abbey, off the Bay of Cannes, welcomed on October 5, 2019, the wine auction from the Clos de la Charité, a plot made of 500 feet of mourvèdre vines planted by the winegrowers monks in 2010. Sponsored by generous donors, these vines produce a special vintage: the Clos de la Charité.
Each year, the bottles of the wines produced on these plots are the subject of a charity sale whose profits are intended to finance humanitarian actions. With the creation of the Clos de la Charité, the Abbey wants to encourage the dynamic of self-giving with the conviction that there is more joy to give than to receive. The monks of Lérins Abbey live according to the rule of Saint Benedict: pray and work: “Share with our brothers the fruits of this work. This is the meaning of the process that led us to the creation of the Clos de la Charité.”
When I disembark from the boat on Saint Honorat Island, I feel like I am entering in paradise. The bright light, magnified with elegance and poetry by the blue of the Mediterranean and the pure azure of the sky, is offered to my eyes. The beauty of the place, highlighted by the rays of the sun of an endless summer, the palette of greens of the pines, eucalyptus and vineyards, fill my heart with joy and serenity. Here, the calm surprises. The soft clapping of the small waves caressing the beach of white sand dispute the song of the cicadas. This idyllic landscape holds the promise of tasting superb wines.
The 40 ha island of Saint Honorat belongs to the Cistercian monks of Lérins Abbey since the thirteenth century. After the war, its members decided to replant syrah and other grape varieties – mourvèdre, chardonnay, clairette, pinot noir – on an area of 8 ha. Today, the wines of Lérins Abbey are exported all over the world, starting with Japan. And this, in spite of rather high tariffs, not due to extra charity or spiritual complicity, but because they require a lot of work.
Under the leadership of Father Abbot Vladimir Gaudrat and the cellar master Hugo Millet, the plots produce about 12000 bottles of liqueur and 35000 bottles of an exceptional wine sold to many French star restaurants, at the Hotel Matignon, at the Palais de l'Élysée, in the National Assembly, but also exported to Europe and the United States. However, when the production of a PGI can reach 120 hl/ha, here the average yield does not exceed 40 hl/ha. Because the paradox is that the Wines of Lérins are not classified AOC, but PGI Mediterranean.
This beautiful little miracle can only come about thanks to tenuous ties with a vast network of professionals and acquaintances: staff of the abbey, winemakers, suppliers, customers, faithful friends of Lérins. The Saint Salonius, Saint Sauveur, Saint Honorat, Saint Lambert and Saint Césaire vintages were often the subject of blind tasting. Competing with large, three times more expensive wines from Burgundy, the Lérins wines are still among the best.
The ninth auction of the wines from the Clos de la Charité of the Lérins Abbey took place at the end of a delicious lunch in the park of the abbey. Brothers, godparents and bidders were all bound by the same objective: to put charity at the service of the neediest. Through the creation of this plot, the community of Cistercian monks wanted to show that its work, which consists in producing a relatively expensive wine, can be coupled with an action of solidarity and encourage the dynamic of true charity at the service of the most vulnerable. It is also an invitation to give, first by proposing to sponsor each vine plant, but also by organizing this sale of the Clos de la Charité during which future bottles from the harvest carried out on this Clos are now sold at auction.
Organized by the community of the brothers of the Lérins Abbey, the auction of the delicious wines of the Clos de la Charité took place in a generous and friendly atmosphere. The day, marked by gift, sharing, transmission, love and conviviality, has kept all its promises. Under the hammer of auctioneer Jean-Pierre Besch, the fine vintages drove up prices. Many bottles of wine, including an imperial one, representing 8 bottles of wine, were purchased by telephone by His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco.
The proceeds of this auction helped 9 charitable organizations: Escuela – Jacob Romero Rivera, Amphore International, ICD Afrique, InterMonasterère Alliance, SAT Action Rue, J'avais faim, Collectif les morts de la rue, Solidarsport, Solidarités, Un enfant par la main. At the end of the auction of the wines of the Clos de la Charité, Brother Vladimir has generously given a cheque of 3000 euros to each association. Thanks to this donation, the associations will be able to finance numerous actions in favour of the most deprived. Last year, 54000 euros were collected at the Clos de la Charité auction.
Escuela – Jacob Romero Rivera : This association is dedicated to the creation of an education center and adapted to enable the integration of children with mental disabilities into schools in the Fatick region of Senegal.
Alliance Inter Monastères : The Alliance Inter Monastères promotes the creation of monastic communities in Africa, Asia and South America. It also unites the different monasteries at the world level.
Un Enfant par la Main : this international solidarity association aims to support the poorest children and families through the sponsorship of children and the financing of micro-development projects.
Les Morts de la Rue : The Collectif les Morts de la Rue aims to raise awareness of the often violent causes of the dead on the street. It helps to organize funerals worthy of the human person.
SAT Action Rue : the association SAT Action Rue has taken action with the Kurdish and Kosovar populations. Currently, its activity is mainly focused on the Roma population of Eastern Europe.
Solidarsport : Solidarsport develops sports, cultural or artistic projects, projects to promote among young people, the values of citizenship and a sense of responsibility.
ICD Afrique : ICD-Afrique is an NGO created by scientists, teachers and professionals of integrated rural development to support, in a solidarity and civic approach…
Amphore Vietnam : Medical and Para-medical Humanitarian Aid and Organization of Meetings and International Education is an independent non-governmental humanitarian organization.