|May 19-22, 2016
Parkway RV Resort & Campground
|Visiting winery and the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux in Vina, California
Architects drawing of the abbey when completed. Half of the stones used were from 1100's.
The Abbey of New Clairvaux is a rural Trappist monastery located in Northern California
in the small town of Vina in Tehama County.
The farmland, once owned by Leland Stanford, grows prunes, walnuts, and grapes which
the monks harvest from the orchards and vineyards to sustain the community the Abbey was
established in 1955 when monks from the Abbey of Gethsemani sought to begin a foundation in
California. The monks live an austere contemplative life of penance and prayer on behalf of the
reparation of sins. Their order is called Cistercians of the Strict Observance.
The setting is extremely quiet and the monastery is completely hidden behind a wall that separates
the guest and extern quarters and the monastic enclosure. There is very little interaction between
the monks and retreatants; however, guests are welcome to join the monks in the chapel to chant the
Divine Office seven times per day, beginning with Vigils at 3:30am and ending with Compline at
Currently, the community is in the process of reassembling what the monks call their
"Sacred Stones," the limestone blocks from the 800-year-old chapter house (meeting room) of the
Cistercian monastery of Santa Maria de Ovila that once stood in Trillo, Guadalajara, Spain. William
Randolph Hearst purchased and dismantled the chapter house of the old Spanish monastery
in 1931 and had the stones shipped to California, intending to includethem in Wyntoon, a grand
home he was building in remote Northern California. Instead, Hearst gave the stones to the city of
San Francisco as part of an arrangement to abate taxes that he owed. The stones sat in San
Francisco's Golden Gate park until 1994 when they were given to the abbey. The chapter house
is being reconstructed outside the cloister of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. In October, 2008, the
ancient chapter house's Gothic portal was completed. In 2009, construction on the interior of the
chapter house began with Gothic columns rising totheir capitals.
In 2000, a vineyard was planted. Leland Stanford himself had a vineyard on the property
as far back as 1881, and Stanford's winery building still stands on the grounds. The monastery
began to sell its wine in 2005.