There’s A Monastery Hidden In Northern California And You’ll Want To Visit
You truly never know what you’ll come across here in Northern California. For example, hidden in the backcountry of a small farm town is a stunning monastery called Our Lady of New Clairvaux Abbey. Most people don’t realize that monasteries are fascinating places to visit—this one especially. It just so happens that this monk’s monastery actually doubles as a winery! How cool is that? This is a unique getaway that you’ll definitely want to experience.
Hiding near the tiny town of Vina, approximately 115 miles north of Sacramento, is Our Lady of New Clairvaux Abbey. Established in 1953, the picturesque monastery is home to approximately 30 Trappist monks and it's open to visitors who wish to escape the world for a bit.
The Cistercians were founded in 1098 and the monks at New Clairvaux are dedicated to preserving the very same sacred traditions even now in 2018. Visitors are welcomed with open arms for day trips or weekend retreats. The Abbey is blissfully peaceful and beautiful, making it an excellent place to unplug and get away from civilization.
If you do decide to visit New Clairvaux, you'll find that your retreat is purely self-directed. There are no strict schedules or itineraries to follow. Guests may attend the religious services but it's by no means a requirement.
Most people who visit the monastery (if they aren't aspiring monks) are lured in by the winery. That's right. There's a an actual winery located on the premises. Thousands of people visit New Clairvaux every year to taste wine that was created with grapes grown right on the Abbey.
The New Clairvaux Vineyard is one of the most unique wine destinations in Northern California, and that's saying a lot! Take a tour of the 10-acre vineyard, participate in a wine tasting in the monastery's tasting room, and don't forget to purchase a few bottles to take home with you.
One of the monastery's most recent developments is the opening of a 12th century Spanish church on the Abbey's grounds. The medieval church was originally purchased decades ago by William Randolph Hearst and it has finally been reconstructed.
You can see for yourself what a 843-year-old church looks like. The church is open to the public for self-guided tours Monday through Saturday from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm. Even if you're not a particularly spiritual person, it's impossible not to be left in awe by this magnificent structure.
Whether you plan to stay at the Abbey for an overnight adventure or you're simply stopping by for a taste of the monastery's award-winning wine, prepare to be blown away by what you'll find at New Clairvaux. This is a quiet retreat from the world that you won't ever want to leave.
For more information regarding The Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux, you can visit their website
Did you know about this incredible monastery? What a neat find! If you love exploring our state’s lesser known destinations then be sure to check out these
13 Fantastic Hidden Gems In Northern California.