Heavenly Spirits from Valamo
Monastic winery & distillery
Welcome to a world of drinks matured in monastic peace and tranquillity. Our unique products are created with devotion at the Valamo Monastery in Finland.
The secret of Valamo’s unique beverages lies in the kind of incredibly pure nature and fresh spring water found only in Finland. Arctic berry wines, the velvety-smooth monastic wine and unique artisanal distilled spirits from whisky to gin are made according to recipes guarded closely by the monks – in accordance with historic tradition.
The monastery’s journey
The Valamo Monastery has been a centre of Orthodox culture for almost 850 years. According to tradition, the monastery was founded in the 12th century. The first definite mention of it in chronicles dates back to the 14th century.
Throughout its long history, Valamo has both flourished and experienced times of hardship. The First and Second World Wars had a dramatic effect on the monastery. In February 1940, the monastery was evacuated, and the monks fled to safety along an ice road built over Lake Ladoga and crossed Finland’s current border to reach Heinävesi. Ladoga Valamo’s agricultural monastic tradition was continued at the New Valamo Monastery in Heinävesi.
Nowadays the monastery’s tranquil atmosphere and natural surroundings provide a unique opportunity to relax, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Arctic wines and distilled spirits
The Church and wine have a long, shared history. Distillation has also been a monastic livelihood ever since the First Crusade, when monks brought the skill to Europe from the Arabs. In the Middle Ages, distilled alcohol’s disinfectant properties made it an indispensable, life-saving medicine.
The Valamo winery and distillery is now bringing the monks’ ancient knowledge and skills into the present day in the form of premium artisanal beverages.
Our raw ingredients are organic berries and aromatic herbs grown on our own land. A plentiful currant harvest is refined into berry wines and liqueurs in the winery, which has operated at the monastery since 1998. The small wine shop next to the monastery offers visitors pure, local wines at their most genuine.
Genuine stories from Valamo
history you can taste
You can taste the monastery’s long and colourful history in its products. Valamo’s Black Tea is in a league of its own, and can be enjoyed at the monastery to this day.
After the mid-19th century, tea master Feodor Ivanovich Sergeyev began to pack special black Java Tea for the Valamo monastery.
The strong tea was ceremonially packed by hand for Valamo in an annual event. The text for the rare drink was printed in gold lettering on white paper.
Valamo’s Black Tea was enjoyed by Russian tsars and other important figures. The Igumen, or father superior, would welcome guests and serve tea from ornamental cups with strawberry jam in the Tsars’ cabinet. The delicious strawberries were selected with care from Valamo’s own garden.
Like the Valamo monastery, the Sergeyev teahouse was also evacuated to Helsinki during the Winter War. The year was 1940.
Now a gin has been created from the tea, so that everyone can experience the tea of the tsars in the form of an artisan distilled spirit.