It is thanks to the two leading wineries of Chateau Musar and Chateau Kefraya that Lebanon is seen as a power, albeit a small one, in the wine world. These two estates have shown over the last few decades that top-quality wines that rival those of France’s best exports can be made in the hot region of Lebanon – not to mention the war that has been going on for many years now.
It is largely red wine country in the Bekaa Valley with specialists from Bordeaux and Chateaneuf-du-Pape lending their expertise to top estates. White and rose wines are made in smaller quantities though can, in the best years, produce fantastic results.
Main Grapes or styles
The most important wines of Lebanon are red wine blends. Most of these are based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, though Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Tempranillo can be found here too. You would think like most of ancient Europe there would be an interest in planting indigenous grape varieties – therein lies the problem as there are not many of them around. Plus the top producers have found a rising interest in the international grapes which have long-proved to make top quality wines.
Bekaa Valley – is an plateau in the centre of the country. This is the leading region for wine growing with close to 95% of all vineyards planted here – that sounds like it could be a lot but there are only 16 authorised winemakers located here. It is both home to red and white wine production most of which is very good and offers incredible value for money.
Climate and its effect on the wines made here
It is thanks to the hills in the Bekaa Valley that viticulture is possible in Lebanon, otherwise a country too hot to produce wine – especially wines of top-quality like those of the top estates of Lebanon.