I honestly don’t look for new wineries. Honestly, I don’t. I mean, I’m too busy trying the ones I already know about. And yet I seem to stumble upon a couple of new wineries every month or so. For instance, only last month during Christmas season, I stumbled across not one, not two, but six new Lebanese wineries. Well, I should say “new to me”, as a few of them aren’t new at all. I should also mention that while I used to be so surprised at discovering new Lebanese wineries before, nowadays I’m not surprised at all, but just excited for them. Bravo *clapping*! This teeny tiny country now has 60+ wineries.
“Now, how about you cut to the point, Saria?” Will do. Sorrey! So here are the 6 independent Lebanese wineries I discovered around Christmastime….
*Note that I’ve listed them in the order I discovered them, and I haven’t tried any of them yet. I’d love to, though!
I got the “Gilbert Simon Cabernet Sauvignon” bottle – yes, I realize it rhymes – in my December 209 wine club box. As the Facebook page describes it, this wine is “a new Line of premium Mediterranean” that is “born from the finest Lebanese Vineyards from French and Mediterranean vines and wineries.” I still haven’t opened it yet, but I’m really looking forward to trying it. It also didn’t take me long to discover that the person behind the wine is a full-fledged artist and, as it turns out, was a Star Academy participant. Now, I don’t watch TV much – other than cooking channels, really – but I found that entertaining, as I think of wine as an art, as well. So… I’ll be giving you my feedback soon.
I’m really liking the rise of organic Lebanese wines. Chateau de la Plaine is another organic Lebanese winery that offers 2 products. The red wine (named after the Roman god of agriculture, wine, and fertility, Bacchus) is a blend of syrah and cabernet sauvignon, and the white wine (named after the Phoenician and Punic goddess of fertility, Tanit) is a chardonnay. I met the Chateau de la Plaine team in December when they invited me to a wine tasting and presented me with a lovely gift box including both of their wines. I haven’t tried them yet – I mean, I have so many bottles to go through already – but I definitely will in the coming few months. I’ll keep you posted.
Turns out that goddess names and organic wines are trending, because here’s another one. Ishtar Winery is a “boutique” winery in Koura, named after the Mesopotamian goddess of love, beauty, desire, and fertility. Grapes grown on different altitudes are blended into Ishtar’s wines. These grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, and Riesling.
This winery gets its name from the mountain that faces its vineyards, near the Unesco protected, Kadisha Valley. Previously known as Chateau Saade, this Lebanese winery makes a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. I haven’t found out much about this winery, but as I’m in love with Kadisha and Bcharri, I’m pretty sure I’ll be visiting soon.
When I found Sendiana Wines and read that they produce only “Fine Red Wines”, my interest was piqued. Sendiana produce their wines at the historic Monastery of St. Jean. Their wines are “a Lebanese adaptation of the hermitaged Bordeaux wines”, made of Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, and Mouvedre, and predominantly aged in French Oak.
The final winery on this list is St. Michael Winery, apparently founded back in 2001 and based in a village called Maasser El Chouf. St. Michael Winery produces wines made with grapes grown in the Bekaa Valley. Aside from the wine, St. Michael produce an array of “handcrafted and artisanal products”, including a traditional Lebanese arak, blossom water, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.
So here you go. Six Lebanese wineries you might not have heard about before today. If you like my blog, please go ahead and like it on Facebook and Instagram. Also, subscribe to the mailing list to get notified whenever I post something new.
See you soon with another glass of red!