New Clairvaux Vineyard  

Vina, California

New Clairvaux Vineyard  

Vina, California

Rich in California History 

Tucked away in Vina, California, you’ll find a little slice of heaven. An unassuming long dirt road leads you to a unique winery destination. The birds are chirping, the crisp air has a faint smell of ripe wine grapes and the bell of the church rings in the background. This is the New Clairvaux Vineyard. 

A rich history in the early 1900s that started with 4,000 acres of vines, the Trappist-Cistercian monks of Kentucky purchased the 600-acre ranch to continue that tradition. “We wanted to continue the legacy, not only of former Governor Leland Stanford but also the other two owners at the time, especially the Flynn family that we bought it from,” said Father Placid, Abbey Ranch secretary/treasurer.  

Guided By Faith

The brothers are guided by the seminary rule and the Cistercian monastery philosophy, meaning they are dedicated to labor and prayer every day. And when they aren’t praying, you often will find them tending to the crops grown at the farm. Known as the “Abbey of New Clairvaux,” the farm produces walnuts, prunes, tomatoes and wine grapes.  

They send the walnuts to a processor and the prunes to Sunsweet. The wine grapes stay on the farm and the monastery works with a fifth-generation Napa winemaker to turn their grapes into wine. 

Since planting their first vine 23 years ago, the operation has grown significantly in size. They grow 15 different varietals on 15 acres, all managed and processed by the brothers. The wine is available for tasting and purchase at the winery’s tasting room on-site and is served at mass daily. The New Clairvaux wines have also made a name for themselves in the wine world, earning international and national awards.  

Certified Organic Products

Keeping this valuable piece of property in pristine condition is of the utmost importance for the Abbey Ranch and New Clairvaux communities, which is why they decided to transition the vines to organic. 

The ranch also emphasizes conserving water and electricity. They have implemented micro-sprinkler systems to save water, and they added a solar facility that allows them to be free from the grid and sell any excess power back.   

“Creation is sacred, and we are co-creators and co-stewards of this creation with God,” said Brother Luis Cortez, vineyard manager at Abbey Ranch. “It’s a great honor to have this opportunity to take care of the land, not for only our sake but for the sake of all our community and all the members of humanity.” 

Farm Credit Understands

With today’s markets and increased inflation, New Clairvaux works hard and partners with Golden State Farm Credit  to keep the farm viable and thriving for generations to come. “The seamless experience and customer service given by Golden State Farm Credit is also something that has been greatly appreciated,” Father Placid said. The Abbey Ranch operation is one that is incredibly unique, yet Golden State Farm Credit understands its business and serves its needs. 

“We weren’t sure what we were getting ourselves into doing a line of credit because normally that’s not what we do as monks,” said Father Placid. “But I would say without Golden State Farm Credit, we would not be able to string along our operations as best as we can.”