The life of the Cistercian order
The Cistercian monks occupied the Monastery of Santa María in Valbuena from the 12th till the 19th century. A date, which indicated that monastic life in the monastery, was over.
Their life was dedicated to “Ora et Labora” which could be translated as; full dedication to prayer and manual labour.
They established hours for the Divine Office during the day in Laudes, Prima, Tercia, Sexta, Nona, Eves and Completas. In winter, due to fewer hours of sun, hours were reduced to Prima, Mass, Tercia and Capitulo. At midnight they woke at the hour of Matins or vigils to give thanks.
During breaks from the Divine Office hours, they dedicated their time to manual labour and spiritual reading. In the case of the Cistercian monks from Valbuena, the manual labour was focused on agriculture and livestock.
The Cistercians labour was centred in particulars around vineyards. The plantation and its care allowed them to produce wine, a precious and indispensable possession during the liturgy, considered as the blood of Christ. The reason why during the Middle Ages, both the sacred and divine world had a close relationship with the world of wine.
In a working day the monks were allowed to consume one “Hemina”, about half a glass of wine per day. In this way they supported daily nourishment maintenance without becoming intoxicated.
Currently the monks are considered as the precursors or fathers of the Duero wines, as they were the first to plant a vineyard in the area. Which today is considered as the “gold mine of the River Duero”, in regards to the manufacture and production of wine.