About this item
The story of Buckfast Tonic Wine begins back in 1897 when the nephew of a French monk visited Buckfast Abbey in Devon and brought with him a recipe for a Tonic Wine.
There had been a monastic institution at Buckfast since pre conquest times and those monks were originally wool farmers. The location of the Abbey was ideal for this enterprise, using the moors to run their sheep, having a sheltered site to produce the wool, the River Dart to wash the wool and the port of Plymouth nearby to export it.
In France in the late nineteenth century, anti clerical laws brought about severe attacks upon the Catholic Church. A group of Benedictine monks near Dijon were forced out of their Abbey; they fled France and went to Dublin. In the early 1880’s the French monks heard that the property of Buckfast Abbey was on the market and in 1882, they acquired it and moved to Devon. At this time they were making a living by producing liniments and medicines. One of these was a wine based recipe that eventually evolved into Buckfast Tonic Wine.