When Burgundy entered the Carolingian dynasty under Charlemagne’s rule, it was a time of political stability, and allowed for a ton of progress to be made on the winemaking front.

This brings us to Benedict of Nursia, an Italian man who was so put off by the immorality of Roman life that he left the city to live a life of celibacy. He started living in a cave — literally — and gathered a number of disciples along the way. By the year 529, he had established a monastery and written a guidebook on how to live a proper, humble, monk lifestyle.

These monks got really good at making wine. More so than anyone else at the time, they had cellars and storage for maturing wine, and they kept meticulous records about winemaking and how to improve their practices. Since Europeans were generally a very religious bunch back then, people started donating vineyards to the monks in hopes of increasing their shot at a pleasant afterlife.

Today on “Wine 101,” Keith discusses how the monks and monasteries of Burgundy helped shape the region’s future and formed the vineyards we know today. Tune in for more.

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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.

*Image retrieved from Pascale Gueret via stock.adobe.com