More than one thousand years old, the abbey and its vineyards have been in the hands of the Huber-Kropf family since the late 1940s when Bernese farmer, Max Zbinden settled in Vaud with his wife, and began transforming what had once been the rural home of Saint Maurice monks into a vast multi-purpose countryside estate.
Today the abbey is owned and maintained by the third generation - Bernard, Janine, Michel and Philippe, whose passion and enthusiasm for product and place is evident in every aspect of the business. A popular wedding venue as well as a winery, the success of the abbey is testament both to the hard work of its proprietors and the importance of diversification. Here, traditional agriculture - crop cultivation and cattle breeding sit comfortably besides banqueting, events organisation and wine-tasting packages.
For much of its history, and certainly for as long as the abbey has been in Huber-Kropf hands, wine-making has been central to its mission. Blessed by a favourable microclimate with mild temperatures - moderated to some degree by the Rhône River - and the warming effects of the Föhn wind, its four hectares of vine rise above the main building on terraces lined with dry stone walls. The soils here are mostly rocky and rich in limestone, providing perfect terroir for both red and white varieties, and whilst mechanical methods are employed on some of the lower vineyards, all of the work on the upper parcels has to be done by hand.
Whites are unsurprisingly led by Chasselas - the ubiquitous, emblematic grape of the Vaud region, with Chardonnay and Pinot Gris also vinified as varietals. Gamay and Pinot Noir dominate the reds along with Merlot, Syrah and Mondeuse - an ancient grape from the Savoy region of France which accounts for approximately 0.01% of the Swiss national vine. The abbey also produces a rosé wine and a house speciality in the form of unique ‘Ombelle’ - an apéritif of Chasselas flavoured with elderflower.
Served to accompany the gastronomic delights at weddings and other events, offered in tastings and cellar tours and sold in bottles of various sizes both on site and online, the estate’s wines are integral to its every operation and an important part of its continued success.