Wines of Lebanon
by Four Seasons Hotel Beirut on Friday, February 24, 2012
Lebanon is one of the oldest sites of wine production in the world. With a wine making tradition dating back 5,000 years, the Phoenicians, the ancient dwellers of Lebanon, were tending vineyards, making wine and trading with other major cities long before the Greeks and Romans.
For the wine lover, Four Seasons Hotel Beirut has created a special Wine Journey to tell the stories behind three unique wineries in Batroun, in the north of Lebanon. The tour includes a visit to Adyar Winery, Lebanon’s first organic winery, where wine is produced by Christian Maronite monks in eight different monasteries spread across Lebanon. IXSIR Winery – where winemaking and ageing occur in a winery above that rests at the Seigniorial House. Located on the hills of Batroun, this 17th century bastion of regional heritage presides over a contemporary winery with sustainability at its core. It unites the Earth’s resources to give birth to wines that reveal the secret that lies within. Awarded by CNN as the one of the greenest buildings in the world and winner of the 2011 Green Good Design Award - IXSIR offers a personalized tour, viewing of its unique technology and an overview of the complete wine-making process – right through a pre-tasting of a new wine. The tour will be concluded at Coteaux De Botrys – a boutique winery owned by four sisters with homemade organic lunch prepared by one of the Souk El Tayyeb producers from the north.
With Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, wine lovers will be offered a unique experience to get introduced to Lebanon’s best wine makers when booking the Wine Package available till December 31, 2012. This activity is designed to make guests' experience Lebanon in a different way.
Guests will enjoy a guided tasting of each winery’s best selections and can enjoy a tour of the surrounding area with its beautiful landscapes and the city of Batroun. The Wine Journey is available for USD 1,025.00 per room per night in a double room, for a minimum of two nights stay.
For package details please visit the Four Seasons Website by clicking here.
History of Wine Making in Lebanon
Wine making was revived in 1857, when Jesuit monks planted Cinsaut vines from Algeria at Chateau Ksara near Zahlé in the central Beqaa Valley. In 1868 a French engineer, Eugène François Brun, set up Domaine des Tourelles known as Lebanon’s first commercial winery, and others followed, notably Gaston Hochar's Chateau Musar in 1930.
Domaine Wardy was set up in 1997 and Massaya in 1998 marking the active involvement of French wine dynasties in the Bekaa Valley. Back then, the number of producers was around five and at present, more than 40 wineries are active in Lebanon.
Lebanese winemakers have favoured French grapes, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Rhone varietals such as Cinsaut, Carignan and Grenache. However Lebanon has a rich heritage of indigenous grapes that are attracting more attention, such as Musar White made from a blend of Obaideh and Merwah. St. Thomas recently introduced Lebanon’s first Pinot Noir.
Baalbeck, the ancient Greek city in the Bekaa Valley, is where the majority of vines are grown; now it is spread across all Lebanon from north to south, on the coast and in the mountains.
Created on: 02/24/12 | permalink Share this article: