It will cover 50% of the annual needs of churches, parishes and religious institutes. For over 100 years the Indonesian Church has depended on products imported from Europe and Oceania. The production of a "homemade wine" marks the end of a process lasting years born of an idea dating to 2010.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - By promoting a policy of self-sufficiency and territorial development, the Indonesian Church has chosen to use sacramental wine produced with the grapes of the vineyards in Buleleng, a regency located on the northern coast of the island of Bali. The Sababay winery, based in the district of Gianyar, will satisfy 50% of the annual needs of churches, parishes and religious institutes.
Last November 29, in the cellar premises there was a ceremony that officially conferred the "Nihil Obstat" of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (Kwi) on the liturgical use of the wine produced on the lush island. Msgr. Petrus Boddeng Timang, bishop of Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan) and president of the Episcopal Commission for the liturgy, along with six other Indonesian bishops. Among the guests there was also Eusebius Binsasi, head of the General Directorate for the leadership of the Catholic community, which is directly under the Ministry for Religious Affairs.
The production of a "homemade wine" marks the end of a process that lasted years and started from an idea born in 2010, Fr. Augustinus Surianto Himawan tells AsiaNews. The priest, who directs the Kwi department for general affairs, was involved in a series of meetings and took part in fieldwork together with dozens of other actors outside the Bishops' Conference. For years, Fr. Himawan dealt with the importation of sacramental wine from Australia.
"The Sababay - declares the priest - has the capacity to produce at least 2.1 million liters a year. Our national needs do not exceed 40 thousand. This year we have agreed that for the two year period 2019-2020 50% will be satisfied by the winery. The remaining 50% will still be found abroad".
For over 100 years the Indonesian Church has depended on sacramental wine imported from Europe and Oceania. Last year, local bishops decided to rely on a national product: the move will not only save huge amounts of money, but will also support Indonesian farmers to develop research and production of this special type of wine.
(Photo Credit: Fr Antonius Haryanto, Mathias Hariyadi and Laurentius Andy).