Lebanese Wine

Although we may not often associate it with the beverage today, Lebanon is one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world. In fact, wine production techniques were first spread throughout much of the Mediterranean world from Lebanon's vineyards. The Phoenicians, who lived in the coastal parts of what is now Lebanon, were pioneers in early viticulture.

Today, the Lebanese wine industry is undergoing a period of tremendous expansion. There are currently approximately 30 operating commercial wineries in the small nation. For comparison, there were fewer than six as recently as 1998.

A Wine Culture Develops

Lebanon's modern wine culture began in earnest following the end of the Israeli conflict in the late 1990s. Much of the development is due to the involvement of established French winemakers in the region. They brought both expertise and capital to Lebanese wine. Fortunately for the budding industry, the 2006 Lebanon War did little to halt the trend. In fact, some producers saw an upswing in sales due to allied countries (such as Britain) purchasing wine as a mark of political solidarity and support.

Classic Varieties

Due to the French influence, the majority of wines currently grown in Lebanon originated in that country. Well-known varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Carignan, and Grenach are popular. Indigenous types of grapes are beginning to see wider use, as well. Wines using a blend of imported (typically French) varieties and native grapes have attracted a good deal of interest lately.

A Historic Winery

Château Ksara is one of the oldest and most significant Lebanese wine companies. Located in the heart of the picturesque Beqaa Valley, it was founded way back in 1857 by Jesuit Priests. Today, the winery produces approximately three million bottles per year. Although it imports its product to over 40 countries all around the world, it is most popular in its native Lebanon. The majority of the imported bottles are sold to people of Lebanese descent living in other countries. That's beginning to change, though: Château Ksara has recently made an effort to begin appealing to a wider range of International consumers.

A Diverse Selection

Currently, Château Ksara produces an impressively large variety of wines. Its line up includes numerous red and white wines, several rose selections, a sweet fortified wine, an arak, and an eau-de-vie. Its wines have won awards at numerous tasting competitions. For instance, the Château Ksara Rouge 2010 won a gold medal at the Berliner Wein Trophy 2013.

Some of the favourite Chateau Ksara wines sold in the UK include the Blanc de Blancs, their Blanc de L'Obervatoire, the Le Souverain and also the Reserve du Couvent. Whichever Ksara wine you choose to buy you can be assured of it's fantastic quality and contribute to this amazing estate who continue to create sublime wines despite all the turmoil that exists in this area of the world.