Kafra, Bekaa, Lebanon

Lebanese wine, full of history, prestige and hope, hides some very beautiful gems. Mostly located in the Bekka valley on the border between Syria and Israel, in a territory at the heart of international tensions and warlike desires, Lebanon nevertheless has a unique terroir for the production of great wines. Its potential is immense and this article invites you to discover my 3 favorite wine producers among the many quality Lebanese wineries.

Château Musar, the Lebanese King

Château Musar is located in the heart of the Bekaa valley. It produces legendary wines recognized internationally. It is certainly a major of viticulture in Lebanon as its reputation for quality and prestige is great.
This iconic figure of the Lebanese vineyard was the first wine producer in Lebanon to be granted the organic certification in 2006.
Its vines are planted between 1000 and 1500 m above sea level in a sunny country 300 days a year with an average annual temperature of around 25°.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau Musar, due to its historical links with the world of French wine, mainly produces wines from grape varieties typical of the South of France such as Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah.
This wine estate has exceptional terroirs near the villages of Aana and Kéfraya in the Békaa plain.
At Chateau Musar, everything is done to produce great wines:

  • very low yields (30/35 hl/ha)
  • manual harvests (formerly in the care of the Bedouins) between August and October from the early hours of the morning to arrive at the Ghazir press (about thirty km north of Beirut) in a perfect state of freshness
  • fermentation based on indigenous yeasts (natural yeasts)
  • resting the wines in cement vats like in Pétrus for 6 months
  • the use of small French oak barrels
  • unfined and unfiltered wines
  • wines which will age in the estate’s cellars for around 7 years before being marketed

Château Kefraya, an estate reigning over a unique terroir

Chateau Kefraya located in the Bekaa plain at more than 1000 m altitude, has vines in one of the most beautiful terroirs in the country.
Its vineyards located on terraced hillsides, at the foot of Mount Barouk which culminates in the Mount Lebanon range, at 1943 m, make its wines totally unique.
Its vines benefit from a veritable mosaic of soils and subsoils, a mixture of clay-limestone, stony, clay-loamy and sandy.
Like its colleagues, this estate produces wines mainly from French grape varieties such as: Cabernet Sauvignon, xarmenère, Marselan, Chardonnay and Viognier.

Kefraya has chosen quality-focused viticulture by practicing:

  • viticulture without irrigation
  • low yields (average yields of 35 hl/ha
  • manual harvest
  • a conscientious selection of grains by optical sorting
  • French oak barrels
  • a French oenologist Fabrice Guiberteau (his 16th harvest in 2021).

Its emblematic wine: Château Kefraya Rouge.

Château Ksara, a winery famous all over the country

With a cellar dating from Roman times, this wine estate has everything to produce a great wine.
Its estate extends over more than 400 hectares at altitude where the vines are planted between 900 and 1400 m.
Given its climate and its terroir, we could say that it is a mountain vineyard in the Mediterranean area.
To cope with sometimes capricious weather and a varied terroir, all the estate’s vines are irrigated: either by drip or by sprinkling.
This estate is managed by Zafer Chaoui, also president since 2013 of the Union of Lebanon Wines. He is assisted by George Khalil Sara, co-owner of Château Ksara.

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