Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Apostle of California.

I bought these rosary beads at the Vatican whilst on a family trip to Rome in 2000.  The beads are made from rosewood and in place of the more traditional crucifix there is a replica of one of the panels on the porta santa, or holy door, which is the north entrance to St. Peter's Basilica.  The porta santa was open when my family and I descended upon The City of the Seven Hills (not cemented closed as it usually is), as 2000 was a Jubilee year.  My family and I spent our days in the Eternal City sight-seeing, shopping and eating.  The evenings were spent soaking up the character of areas like Trastevere, laughing our bottoms off at news coverage of the 'hanging chad' debacle unfolding back in the United States and eating.
Watching the news the other day, I was happy to hear that Pope Francis has decided to canonize Father Junípero Serra when the pontiff visits Washington D.C. later this year.  Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988, Junípero Serra, a Majorcan missionary, is credited with the planting of the first grapevines in California (at Mission San Diego) for the production of sacramental wine.  Father Serra was the primera vineyard manager in California history.  I don't know if  Blessed Serra will ever have patron saint status conferred upon him, there are already a bunch of other saints that have winemaking and viticulture covered, but he's still one more for the team.  Siempre adelante, nunca retroceder.


New Hampshire Wineman said...

Looking back I think it's a conspiracy ;-(

Vinogirl said...

NHW: What is? The planting of grapevines in San Diego?

Thud said...

hooray another one for the team!

New Hampshire Wineman said...

That's as good as any!

Thomas said...

One correction, VG:

Serra planted the first "European" grapevines.

Viva la Vitis californica!

Vinogirl said...

Thud: Yup. I'm going to see if I can pre-order a Saint Junipero Serra medal on Amazon :)

NHW: Oh, that debacle. Yes, and look how prohibition came about - a small group of intolerant religous zealots who asserted their influence over the masses and even got an ammendment to your constitution passed. Hmmmm.

Tomasso: Yes, he did, and I mentioned that the original cuttings had been brought from Spain in the older post I linked this post to.
I pretty sure that no one produces a Vitis californica wine, but may Vitis c. "viva" forever in it's native habitat.

Thomas said...


I used to call it Vitis fornicala.

When you guys read my Taylor book you'll find out why Prohibition was even considered in the U.S., and how it helped to make Taylor a giant wine company.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: I'm waiting patiently...