The Abbey today
The Augustinian Canons Regular Monastery of Neustift was founded by Bishop of Brixen, the Blessed Hartmann in 1142. Since then it has been owned and run by the Augustinian Canons Regular. The purpose of this order is to observe the rules of the order, to engage in pastoral work – the monks care for 18 parishes – and to attend to the upkeep and maintenance of the monastery itself.
The last mentioned involves a diversity of activities, the coordinated and smooth running of which requires carefully thought-out, tried-&-tested organisation and efficient management. Task and objective: each of the Monastery’s enterprises is tasked with producing goods and services offering very good to excellent value for money to ensure the name Neustift is and remains perceived as being synonymous with quality and reliability. Each enterprise must be self-supporting, the divisions winery, bar, monastery shop must regularly achieve a surplus in order to cover the costs of restoration, refurbishment and building work on the monastery complex as well as for the upkeep of the religious community.
The monastery enterprises are as follows:
- Forestry (approx.700 ha) and Alpine pastureland (approx. 400 ha), proprietary game reserves.
- Agriculture – Marklhof estate, Girlan, with 20 ha of vineyards, 13 ha of orchards (apples) and 24 ha of scrubland.
- Agriculture - Neustift estate, Vahrn, with approx. 5 ha vineyards, 13 ha of apple orchards, and a 0.2 ha herb garden.
- Historical garden
- Winery: the main winery is located at Neustift and produces white wine, plus the Marklhof estate on the Schreckbichl hill at Girlan where red grapes are grown. The grapes are crushed and the wines matured respectively in the cellars at Neustift and Marklhof, after which they are bottled and bottle-aged at Neustift. Annual production amounts to approx. 650,000 bottles, 2/3 of which are white, 1/3 red wine.
- Monastery shop: where produce from the monastery’s estates (wines, brandies, apple juice, teas and infusions) plus 200 other products mainly from monasteries, abbeys and convents from all over Europe, are sold.
- The monastery tavern: with seating for approx. 160 persons serves the estate wines, Tyrolean snacks as well as coffee, cakes etc.
- Sales and distribution: this department is tasked with marketing the monastery’s products regionally and nationally through our own sales network, and internationally in co-operation with importers.
- Guided tours: each year approx. 50,000 visitors take part in guided tours of the church, cloister, picture gallery and library.
- Boarding school for up to 90 youths; the pupils attend school (annexe of the Oswald on Wolkenstein middle school – Brixen), live and sleep on the premises and must be catered for and supervised
- Convention centre Abbazia di Novacella: this is an independent organisation but with numerous potential synergies in the area of management; its facilities - buying, kitchen and many others, are used intensively and consequently the centre must be viewed as part of the whole. The building has 50 beds, mainly in single rooms and at present offers facilities for guest events in different spheres and rents the infrastructure to customers specialised in further education.
- Monastery kitchen: the monastery kitchen caters for various groups: cooking for the Canons Regular (approx. 13 persons), the boarding school (approx. 90 boys), the monastery canteen (approx. 10 – 30 employees, according to season), and the education house (up to 100 meals). Although the head cook bears overall responsibility for buying, preparation, hygiene and allocation, he requires constant support from the manager of the convention centre with regard to objectives and planning, and in this regard reports to him.
- Wood chip heating fuel: heats the entire monastery complex and numerous outbuildings; the Neustift agricultural department is responsible.
- The Schalders power plant: is located in the Schalders Valley; the entire production is fed into the public grid, managed by the monastery administration.