Each time I look at these high, stone walls, I think of the Cistercian monks who cleared our steep and rocky hills at the cost of untold efforts driven by their faith alone.
And, I recall their fondness for the juice from the vine. In the 12th century, it took the monks twenty years to clear the trees from the Dézaley hillside alone. Then, the first winemakers arrived, tied to the Church by crop contracts for one-third to one-half of the grape harvest. Among these early growers were my ancestors.