Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In Vino Veritas

I have recently received an email from Dave Hughes, the well known wine commentator, on the Mass he organises every year in the Cape Winelands.  Catholics are probably outnumbered by non-Catholics at an event like this...isn't that what the 'New Evangelism" is all about?  If just one person changes a negative attitude towards the Church as a result or one person becomes interested in Catholicism then Dave Hughes has achieved something special.  If you are in the Western Cape at the time do make an effort to be there.  Saint Nicholas Catholic Church is a converted 18th century wine cellar so it is an appropriate venue for the Mass.

Dave Hughes is an Umtali boy - if you are able, please support this function - Hospice has been kind to many of our members.
For those out of the Western Cape please consider a donation to your local Hospice. Eddy Norris

Umtali Folk


The 18th Annual Winemaker and Distillers Mass will be held on Wednesday 25th January, 2012. 

NOTE Wednesday and not Thursday as before.
The Mass will begin at 11.00 hrs at Saint Nicholas Catholic Church in Paul Kruger Street, Stellenbosch. After Mass we will adjourn to La Pineta for lunch.

Feel free to bring your own wine as no corkage will be charged. However, La Pineta has a fine wine list to choose from. The meals and wine purchased will be for your own account.

The collection will go to the Stellenbosch Hospice. Hopefully you will be as generous as in the past and hopefully we can set a record of over R20,000.

As ever, we will have an interesting homily.

If you can make it, please let me know so that we can cater accordingly.

Please pass this info on to anyone else who might be interested to attend.

Most winemakers/distillers bring a bottle or two to the church to go into the Offertory Basket at the entrance. These donations will go up to the alter with the Offertory Procession. The bottles are shared with the clergy after the Mass. (Don’t forget your wine and/or spirits for the lunch.)

Further information on the subject:-
Confrerie des Vignerons de St. Vincent de Macon

During January, St. Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of winegrowers, is honored throughout Europe with celebrations, prayers, weather-omen ceremonials, and, of course, wine tasting.

St. Vincent of Saragossa died in the year 304, martyred during the last great persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperors Maximian and Diocletian. By early medieval times, St. Vincent had been adopted as a patron saint by vineyard workers and winemakers in Europe – perhaps they identified their struggles against drought, mildew, frost, insects and all of the other tribulations of wine growing with the legendary tortures suffered by St. Vincent.

A story is told that during the Middle Ages the Catholic Church had brought some relics of St. Vincent to Burgundy. The region had experienced multiple poor vintages, but after the Church blessed vineyards with the relics of St. Vincent there were a long string of exceptional vintages that followed.
As devotion to St. Vincent spread, new legends sprang up to seal the identity of the saint with the particular locality.

Read the full article by visiting the link below.
Information on La Pineta Restaurant

Many thanks and hope you will be able to attend.

Phone (021) 865 2175 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (021) 865 2175      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (021) 865 2175 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (021) 865 2175      end_of_the_skype_highlighting      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (021) 865 2175 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (021) 865 2175      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (021) 865 2175 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (021) 865 2175      end_of_the_skype_highlighting      end_of_the_skype_highlighting      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Fax (021) 865 2740
e-mail hughesd@iafrica.com

The patron saint of wine who appeals to me is St Trifon the Pruner. 1 February, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church honours Saint Trifon, a healer who was glorified by the miracles he performed. However, this national holiday is also celebrated on 14 February according to old customs, which just happens to be Valentine’s Day as well.

Trifon Zarezan was born in AD 225 to a poor Christian family in Anatolia, then part of the Roman Empire. When he was 17 years old, he healed the seriously ill daughter of Emperor Gordian III and was richly rewarded by the imperial family. Just a few years later, in AD 249, Decius Traianus took the throne. During his brief administration, he persecuted many Christians because of their faith. Trifon refused to give up his Christian beliefs and was tortured until his death.
A curious fact is that Saint Trifon’s Day (Trifonovden Трифоновден in Bulgarian) is celebrated by vine growers, winemakers, falconer, gardeners and publicans because people believe that Saint Trifon was the protector of the vines. The day is called also the Day Of The Vine Growers.
In the Bulgarians mind, Saint Trifon is embellished with many legends which are not in conformity with his real life and Christian faith. One of them, for instance, is the legend that he cut his noise whilst pruning vines – this is why his name is Zarezan, which means notched, thus Tryphon the notched-nosed.
Trifonovden traditions also intertwine different occult rituals, many based on pagan worship of Dionysus from Ancient Greek mythology. In fact, some of the practices during the celebrations, such as pouring out the wine and getting drunk, are part of the rites of Dionysus worship. This confusion of Christian and pagan makes the holiday more a day for having fun and drinking good Bulgarian wine than for honouring the saint and his contribution to people’s life in the past.
Festive Rituals
Early in the morning, women knead bread and cook a hen which is traditionally filled with rice or bulgur. The bread, the hen and a wooden wine barrel are placed in a new woollen bag. With these bags on their shoulders, the men go into the vineyard. When they get there they make the sign of the cross, take a sickle and cut three twigs from different vines. After that, they pour wine onto the vines. This ritual is called zaryazvane (cutting).
Having finished this, they then have to choose “the king of the vine”. Then the real feast can start and the vine growers give to the king two wreaths made out of vines – one he puts on his head and the other on his shoulders. After that, he sits on a cart and the vine growers carry him to the village or the town singing and playing bagpipes, kettle drums and fiddles. They stop in front of every house and women come out with a pot filled with wine and give the king some to drink and then to the other people. The woman then flings the remaining wine on the king and says a blessing.
Then the king goes home, changes his clothes and, with his wreaths on his head and the shoulders, sits down at a large table to receive people from the whole village. Usually a wealthy person is chosen for a king because he has to offer all the guests food and drink.
The holiday is also called Trifon drunkard because the king must be drunk – this means that there will be prosperity in the vineyards.
The following days, which are called Trifuntsi, are honoured as days for protection from wolves.
Maybe Robertson District could work on something like this though it is unlikely that pruning would start in February!

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