Wines of Lebanon

by Mike Simonson
Fun fact: Lebanon is actually the smallest sovereign state in the entire continent of Asia, amassing only 4,036 square miles.

At the heart of Lebanese viticulture is the Bekaa Valley, home to one of the most magnificent Greek temples that was once dedicated to Bacchus, the god of wine.

There is actually viticultural evidence showing that wine was cultivated in Lebanon about 2000 before Alexander the great, making it an ancient ancestor of the entire wine industry.

The lush mountainous altitude and topography of the Bekaa Valley create a sheltered home for vineyards, providing healthy soils and protection from the harsh elements of the rest of the country.

Fun fact: Lebanon is actually the smallest sovereign state in the entire continent of Asia, amassing only 4,036 square miles.

At the heart of Lebanese viticulture is the Bekaa Valley, home to one of the most magnificent Greek temples that was once dedicated to Bacchus, the god of wine. There is actually viticultural evidence showing that wine was cultivated in Lebanon about 2000 before Alexander the great, making it an ancient ancestor of the entire wine industry.

The Bekaa Valley is a narrow portion of land between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains running about 65 kilometers right down the middle of the country. The lush mountainous altitude and topography create a sheltered home for vineyards, providing healthy soils and protection from the harsh elements of the rest of the country. This region is responsible for 90% of Lebanon’s total wine production, although it’s really only come into the commercial spotlight in the last few decades. In recent years, the number of vineyards in all of Lebanon went from 8 to 42, producing over 8 million bottles a year, much of which is exported to Canada, Europe, and the United States.


ADVERT


Back in the mid-19th century, Jesuits brought back the Cinsault vine and planted it in Lebanon, so French wines have a huge influence in this region. Since then, Cinsault has been replaced with more popular grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot but it is still produced throughout the Bekaa Valley. Lebanon does have a couple of indigenous grapes, Obeideh and Merwah, which stories say were transplanted to Europe and became the originators for Chardonnay and Semillon.

The large wineries in the area are all called Chateaus, but the one with the most rooted history in the Lebanese wine industry is Chateau Musar. It was started in 1930 by Gaston Huchar in the cellars of an old castle and is still run by his son Serge today. Although there are only a handful of wines produced at Musar, they are widely known and not always for the best of reasons. Many critics find their aggressively traditional methods and taste to be at fault.

One of the most amazing things about Lebanon’s wine industry is the unbelievable history you can find at each vineyard. Every Chateau tells a different story about ancient cultures and the story of our modern world, and because Lebanon is such a small country, you can get to many within a short amount of time!



FEATURED EVENTS

New York Wine Events

November 9, 2019

Brooklyn Crush: Fall Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

October 19, 2019

NYC Autumn Wine Festival

Highlighted by Grubstreet & New York Magazine as a “destination wine and food event”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 24, 2019

Jazz In The Vines: Alex Bugnon & Marc Antoine

A meeting of 2 contemporary jazz giants

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 10, 2019

Jazz In The Vines: Peter White

An evening with an extraordinary guitarist and performer

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

July 20, 2019

Summer Rose and Bubbly Fest

Rosé Wine + Rosé Champagne + Sparkling Wine + Music + Summer… on the East End of Long Island

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

July 13, 2019

Jazz In The Vines: Spyro Gyra

A great opening evening for 2019

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 22, 2019

North Fork Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival

North Fork Crush is your chance to sample wine at a working vineyard and receive tasting notes directly from celebrated North Fork winemakers!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

May 18, 2019

Wines & Bites!

Hudson Valley’s yummiest wine and food tasting event

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

May 11, 2019

Brooklyn Crush: Spring Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 26, 2019

NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting 2019

Join us on March 26th at the Rainbow Room in NYC for our next Grand Tasting!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 9, 2019

NYC Winter Wine Festival

Named by Thrillist as one of the “17 Things You Have to Do in Winter in New York City”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

January 17, 2019

IC Wine Club – Wine Tasting with Moore Brothers Wine Company

Back for another seasonal tasting

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

November 10, 2018

Brooklyn Crush: Fall Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC.”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

October 20, 2018

NYC Autumn Wine Festival

Named by Grubstreet & New York Magazine as a destination wine and food event.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

Saturday September 30, 2018

7pm - 9pm

Day Trip To Wine Country

Join New York Wine Events for a full-day Wine Tour to Long Island Wine Country. Available every Saturday, this experience transports you to the North Fork of Long Island, 2 hours from Manhattan with farms, wineries & artisan food. TICKET INCLUDES: Round trip bus travel via motor coach from Midtown Manhattan. You pick your date – Read More

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

Saturday September 1, 2018

Jazz In The Vines: Vincent Ingala and Lindsey Webster

New York Wine Events is thrilled to present Vincent Ingala and Lindsey Webster at the spectacular Jamesport Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Jazz In The Vines: David Benoit and Marc Antoine

New York Wine Events is thrilled to present David Benoit and Marc Antoine at the spectacular Jamesport Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Jazz In The Vines: Jeff Lorber Fusion

New York Wine Events is thrilled to present Jeff Lorber Fusion at the spectacular Jamesport Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island. A 2018 Grammy Award Nominee!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

July 28, 2018

Summer Rose and Bubbly Fest

Rosé Wine + Rosé Champagne + Sparkling Wine + Music + Summer… on the East End of Long Island

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 23, 2018

North Fork Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival

North Fork Crush is your chance to sample wine at a working vineyard and receive tasting notes directly from celebrated North Fork winemakers!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 6, 2018

Big Apple Zinfandel Experience
powered by ZAP

The BIG APPLE ZINFANDEL EXPERIENCE features some of the finest wines at any of our annual events. WHY?

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

May 12, 2018

Brooklyn Crush: Spring Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC.”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 20, 2018

NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting

More than 40 wineries from the Finger Lakes, Long Island, Hudson River Region, and beyond will convene at the Altman Building on Tuesday, March 20th, for the seventh annual NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 10, 2018

NYC Winter Wine Festival

Named by Thrillist as one of the “17 Things You Have to Do in Winter in New York City.”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

November 11, 2017

Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival: Fall Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC.”

PURCHASE TICKETS

RELATED WINE BLOGS

Monday, January 21st, 2019

Winter Food and Wine Pairings
Winter is the season of cooking. It’s cold outside so you stay inside and make tasty things that warm up your home and your bellies. We all know that fruits and vegetables are a bit limited during the winter season but that doesn’t mean they should sit in the corner and feel sad about not - Read More
Read more...

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Glühwein – A Top Pick for Wintertime
Mother Nature is about to dump a whole lot of snow on us which means it’s time to gather up the tasty snacks, download a whole bunch of movies, and settle in for a snow day (or weekend.) Times like this call for adult beverages and projects that take up all the free time you - Read More
Read more...

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

What the Heck is Trebbiano Toscano?
The Trebbiano grape is one of the most widely planted grapes in the entire world, particularly in Italy and also in France, where it’s actually called Ugni Blanc. It’s a white grape that tends to be slightly dry, medium-bodied, and has a medium-high tannin and is used for things like brandy and vinegar because it - Read More
Read more...
LOAD MORE