By: Eliezer Gonzalez
My father told a story from his childhood about the best vintage ever. It happened as he was growing up in a rural town in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. When the war began, the people in the town turned against religion, and priests and the nuns all fled the town.
The people decided to use the ancient gothic church as a makeshift wine cellar. So, the men cleaned out the church, and simply poured that year’s vintage into the church and sealed the doors. I’m not too sure how that worked, but that’s what they did.
In the same way as the monastery was converted into a barracks, the people of Villarrobledo also found a use for the historic church of San Blas, which was right in the middle of the town.
The church was built in the mid-fifteenth century and then extensively refurbished over the centuries.
The people of Villarrobledo decided to turn the Church of San Blas into a makeshift wine cellar, which made sense, since this was a very important region for wine production. The church itself was dark and cool, with only small windows high up, so it seemed perfect.
The Church Was Simply Flooded and Drowned in Grape Juice
So what the people did is that when the wine was harvested, it was all brought to the church and just poured in, so that the church filled up, as unbelievable as that might seem. There were no barrels or anything like that. The church was simply flooded and drowned in grape juice. Then, the doors of the church were closed and locked up, and that year’s vintage was left to slowly mellow and ferment.
After some months, and possibly the next year, the church doors were opened, and a cup was dipped in to taste the wine. All those who tasted it agreed that it was the best vintage they had ever tasted. As a result, the wine was happily drained from the church into barrels, ready for sale.
The Wine Had Extra Body
As the wine level slowly fell in the church, and eventually reached the near the floor level, the reason why there had been extra body in the flavour of the wine. And that literally the case: a dead body was found on the floor of the church. Apparently, someone had been left in the Church of San Blas when the church had been sealed up, and they had died in the wine.
It’s a really strange story, but apparently a true one, because my father assured me that he was there and he saw it.
There are often things that taste good, but if we knew where it had come from, we wouldn’t go near them. There are things that look beautiful, but that have been created through ugliness and pain. There are things that sound good, but are just a tricky bunch of lies.
God Invites Us to Think More Deeply Than the Superficial
The people of the town all thought the wine was fantastic, until they found out the truth. You see, what seems good, isn’t always good. The Bible tells us that,
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death (Prov 14:12.)
Most people go through life without questioning the basic issues of existence. In fact, many people actively avoid thinking about these things too much. After all, the answers might change the way you live, and who wants change?
But God invites us to think more deeply than the superficial, and to ask the challenging questions such as “how?” and “why?” God invites us to live wisely in the world, and he promises a blessing to those who do so:
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding (Prov. 3:13.)