Lebanon has more than 5,000 years of history. It is home to countless of historic sites such as a Crusader castle in Byblos, a Roman hippodrome in Tyre, a Byzantine church in Jabal Moussa, and Umayyad ruins in Anjar. It’s also one of the oldest sites for wine production.
Here are some quick facts about the history of Lebanese wine!
#1 The Phoenicians were among the first people that produced wine.
The ancient civilization which is famous for producing purple dye and inventing the alphabet also spread wine and viticulture in the Mediterranean region. The Phoenicians were among the greatest traders of their time thanks to their ships. Their navigation skills helped them sell wine in the region.
#2 Phoenicia’s wealth was built on wine trade, other than purple dye production.
The trade value of wine increased when it became a popular drink and an acceptable offering to both gods and kings. The Phoenicians developed markets for wine production in colonies around the Mediterranean Sea to meet the heavy demand.
#3 Lebanon is home to the temple of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine.
The Temple of Bacchus is one of the largest Roman temple ruins in the world. This richly and abundantly decorated monument is located in Baalbek. This temple is dedicated to Bacchus, the god of wine, grape harvest, fertility, and theater. Bacchus is the Roman name for the Greek god Dionysus.
#4 The wine of Lebanon is mentioned in the Bible
“Those who live in his shadow will again raise grain, and they will blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.” Hosea 14:7
#5 Two Phoenician ships that contained wine jugs were found wrecked in the Mediterranean Sea.
Oceanographers and archeologists discovered two ancient Phoenician ships, which contained wine jugs, wrecked in the Mediterranean Sea. The scientists believe the ships were lost in a storm while traveling from Phoenicia to Egypt or Carthage. The team of discoverers included Dr. Robert Ballard, who is known for the discoveries of the wrecks of the RMS Titanic in 1985.
#6 Lebanon is home to many wineries.
Lebanon's most famous wineries are located in the Beqaa Valley. Here are the wineries that you must visit: Château Fakra, Château Kefraya, Château Ksara, Château Musar, Château Wadih, Domaine des Tourelles, and IXSIR.
#7 There's a Lebanese winery that produces blue wine.
Yes, you read that right! Blue wine is a thing! Château Wadih, a winery in Akoura, produced the first blue wine in the Middle East a few years ago. The blue color is produced through a pigmentation process. It's a mixture of red and white grapes, and two organic pigments, indigo and anthocyanin, which are pigments found in grape skin.