20 Lebanese Wineries You Should Visit If You’re A True Wine Lover

VinQuinn | Blom Invest Bank

Wine in is historic in that its production started thousands of years ago during the great era of our ancestors the Phoenicians.

In fact, they were the first to produce wine from the abundance of grapevines the land generously produced and in different types.

The wine trading counted in good part for the wealth of the Phoenicians. It might have also accounted for the construction of the temple of Bacchus, the god of wine, in Baalbek.

, as we know it, has continued the legacy of winemaking for as long as history can remember.

The fertile land, the good weather, the abundance of water springs, and the skills of Lebanese winemakers combine to create excellent wines, some have even made it to international fame.

If you are a true wine lover, here is a list of ’s most reputable wineries that you should visit and taste the variety of their wine production:

#1 Château Kefraya (Kefraya, Chouf)

Established in 1979. Location: Kefraya.

One of Kefraya’s wine, Comte de M, was ranked 93 among 12,000 wines in 2017 by The Wine Advocate (TWA), a wine journal critic.

#2 Chateau Musar (Gazir, Kessrwan)

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🇱🇧 1999 Chateau Musar 🇱🇧 from the Lebanese Bekaa Valley (Beqaa Valley) is a red blend made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. Chateau Musar was founded in 1930 by the young Gaston Hochar who just returned from a visit to France. Lebanon was under French administration at this time and there was an unprecedented demand for wine. After starting as more of a hobby it became a serious passion following the development of what became a lifelong friendship with Major Ronald Barton of Langoa-Barton who was stationed in Lebanon during WWII. In 1959 Serge, Gaston’s son, became the wine maker after completing his Oenology studies at Bordeaux University. The popularity of Chateau Musar, though, owes its fame to a more recent conflict, the Lebanese civil war of 1974-1990 and this is where the real story of Chateau Musar begins. The winery was well received but its market was pretty much all in Lebanon. This market was effectively destroyed in 1974 with the escalation of the Lebanese civil war. Serge though rolled his sleeves up and decided to take Musar out into the world. In 1979, at The Bristol Wine Fair, the English wine writer Michael Broadbent picked Chateau Musar out as the top wine of the Fair and this established Chateau Musar firmly on the world stage. I tasted more than 20 vintages over the time and they all have one thing in common – you get a lot of wine for a reasonable price. But let’s move on to the 1999 vintage which I tasted for the second time. Stable and some brett in the nose. On the palate completely different. Mushrooms, wet moss and leather paired with ripe cherries and blackberries – not much brett here. Very interesting with these tertiary notes. Tannins are soft and integrated beautifully. There’s still a little acidity in the background which pushes the berry notes in the end. Medium and precise bodied and a medium long finish. I really enjoyed this one. Great QPR – as usual with Musar. Have a great weekend. Cheers 🍷 🏆 93/100 🌎 Bekaa Valley / Lebanon 🇱🇧 🍇 Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Cinsault 💰40€ . . . #chateaumusar #lebanesewine #beqaavalley #bekaavalley #cabernetsauvignon #carignan #cinsault #lebanonwine #winenotes

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Established in 1930 in Ghazir, Chateau Musar grapes grow in the fertile valley of Beqaa.

In 2017, the luxury and lifestyle magazine Condé Nast Traveler ranked Château Musar Jeune Rosé among the world’s 15 best rosé wines.

#3 Chateau St. Thomas (Zahle)

Established in 1990, the Clos of St Thomas is located in Kob Elias in Zahle, a UNESCO city of creative gastronomy.

#4 Chateau Heritage (Zahle)

Chateau heritage was founded in 1888, in Kab-Elias, Zahle, and is among the oldest Lebanese wineries still operating.

#5 Domaine des Tourelles (Jdita, Chtaura)

One of the oldest wineries in , it was founded in 1868.

#6 Latourba (Bekaa)

Established in 2006, Latourba is located in Saghbine in West Bekaa, by the Karoun Lake.

#7 Chateau Marsyas (Bekaa)

Established in 2007 in the village of Kefraya, in the valley of Bekaa.

#8 Chateau Ksara (Zahle)

Among the oldest wineries in , Chateau Ksara was established in 1857, in Bekaa.

#9 Domaine Wardy (Zahle)

A family-owned winery & distillery located in Zahle, Domaine Wardy is over 100 years old. It was established in 1891.

#10 Chateau Ka (Chtaura)

Chateau Ka branched out as a separate production from none other than Kassatly Chtaura (1974) that produced the first bottled Jallab for home-preparation.

#11 Chateau Belle-Vue (Bhamdoun)

Chateau Belle-Vue, a family business winery that started in 2000, prides itself on using organic methods and small-production for its hand-crafted wine.

#12 Domaine de Baal (Zahle)

Established in 1994, Domaine de Baal is an eco-friendly winery that prides itself on producing fine organic and natural wine.

#13 Chateau Khoury (Dhour Zahle)

A family-run vineyard established in 1995 and that has gained an excellent reputation.

#14 Terre Joie (Qanafar, Bekaa)

Established in 2008, Terre Joie winery is located in Kharbet Qanafar, Bekaa.

#15 Coteaux du Liban (Bekaa)

Founded in 1999, Coteaux Du Liban is also a family-run winery. It produces wine and also Lebanese arak.

#16 Riachi Winery & Distillery (Khenchara)

Established in 1839, Riachy distillery is a boutique producer of high-end wines, and also arak, gin, liqueur, and the first Lebanese single malt whiskey.

#17 Chateau Nabise (Rechmaya)

Established in 1999, la cave Nabise is situated in Mazraat Yachouh, with plantations in Rechmaya village, Mount Lebanon. In addition to a selection of wines, it produces the traditional Lebanese Arak drink.

#18 Chateau Wadih (Akoura)

Established in 2010, in Akoura, Chateau Wadih is the first in the Middle East to produce blue wine.

#19 IXSIR (Batroun)

Founded in 2008 by three partners, one of whom is Carlos Ghosn, IXSIR is located just a little outside Batroun. It was awarded “best grade for a Lebanese wine” at Bordeaux’s La Semaine des Primeurs 09.

#20 Aurora (Batroun)

A boutique winery established in 2006, it is located in Rachkedde, Batroun.

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