It’s a beautiful walk down a tree-lined lane to St. Catherine’s Monastery. Almost 700 years ago, seven daughters were given permission to join the Order of Prémontré. The location of the monastery changed several times throughout the centuries, until 1647 when they moved to their present location in Oosterhout. In 1954, the sisters began restoring and preserving antique books to generate income. The economic downfall in 2008 seriously affected the income from their book work. In 2012, the sisters declared they would stay at the monastery, and they would stay there together, but they needed a new source of income. They decided to start a vineyard on the property, and after developing a business plan, the community supported them. All the sisters voted on decisions throughout the process, in order to stay true to who they are as Norbertine sisters.
In addition to the vineyard, the sisters also started a guesthouse. There are 14 rooms that can be used for retreats and other events.
The vineyard was planted in 2015, and last year was their first harvest. They grow six different varietals, and bottled 11,000 bottles of white wine their first year. On Saturday they release this year’s wine, and have grown to 55,000 bottles.