The mountainous region of eastern Lebanon has a rich history spanning thousands of years — and equally rich land that makes it a fertile location for some of the country’s top vineyards. Lebanon produces rich red wines, crisp whites and smooth, fruity rosés.
Worldfocus special correspondent Kristen Gillespie ventures through Lebanon’s vineyards.
Below, she blogs about her experience in the field.
From the Field
Let’s be up front about it: this story is unapologetically biased. I love Lebanese wine.
Putting together this story wasn’t exactly a hardship assignment. There are so many excellent producers in Lebanon, but I chose Chateau Belle-Vue because Naji and Jill Boutros represent a new generation of winemakers. It’s not just about the product — they are creating meaningful social change in their village while producing organically grown, award-winning wines. Jill made sure we had tasted plenty of samples from the oak barrels, which is where the wine from each specific grape variety lies for two years until it is blended to create a new vintage.
Chateau Ksara is one of Lebanon’s oldest producers, and aside from the consistent quality of their wines, the miles of mysterious, Roman-era subterranean tunnels fuel speculation as to what they were used for. Ksara graciously opened their doors, and their wine cellars, for us to film.
Another top producer not to be missed is Chateau Kefraya, which produces a reliably crisp Blanc de Blanc for about $6. For travelers to Lebanon, it’s available, along with many others, at Beirut’s airport.
– Kristen Gillespie