Organic Monastic Vinegars
Story by Clifford Hart
Photographed by Karen Pearson
When one thinks of a monastery, a large brick or stone structure might come to mind, one set against a backdrop of mountains or forests, with a high bell tower and columned hallways and cloisters within its framework.
So it might come as a surprise to find a monastery that contains none of these elements, but is instead tucked away on a country road and exists inside a structure that looks very much like an old farmhouse.
In fact it is an old farmhouse, surrounded by the attendant barn structures and fenced-in land that you might expect. But it’s also the home of Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery, founded by Benedictine monk Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette in 1977, and the only place in the Hudson Valley where you can find organic-artisanal vinegar being made.
Vinegar, you say? What could vinegar possibly have to do with a monastic order? It turns out everything. For vinegar is, in its essence, a by-product of fermented fruit juice or wine, a very good and beneficial something derived from what most would consider next-to-nothing, and therein lies one of the chief tenets of Benedictine philosophy.