Top Wineries in Lebanon
Lebanese belong to the oldest wine producers in the world.
"Historically, Lebanon used to have 3 to 5 producers until the mid 90's. From the mid 90's onwards, there was a certain number of companies who started producing wines. In 2005-2006, there were nearly 15 to 20 wineries. In the last 3 to 5 years, there has been several newcomers, so today there are approximately 30 to 35 producers in Lebanon," comments Gaston Hochar from Chateau Musar. Therefore, thanks to the new producers, new wine products are constantly entering the Lebanese market thereby enriching the already rich variety of Lebanese wines.
Lebanon yearly produces about 7 million bottles of wine and this figure is constantly growing.
The top wineries in Lebanon include Château Ksara, Château Kefraya and Château Musar.
Lebanese wines are very popular among the Lebanese as 70% of consumed wines are locally produced. Nevertheless, Lebanese wines are being exported to all around the world, mostly to the US, Europe with India and Brazil - as future clients of Château Kefraya.
2010 was a difficult year for Lebanese wine producers in terms of the weather and unpleasant growth conditions. 2011 was, fortunately, back to normal with good quality.
"Lebanon's reputation is increasing," says Emile Majdalani, Sales Director of Chateau Kefraya. Lebanese wines are appreciated worldwide judging from the many awards they received in the last years. For example, Château Musar 2011 vintage was chosen as one of the Top 100 wineries or the amazing success story of Comte de M from Château Kefraya!
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Top Lebanese Wineries
Château Kefraya is the top Lebanese winery and the second largest producer of top grade Lebanese wines with a yearly production of 2 million bottles.
65% of Kefraya wines are sold locally but the winery would like to see the 50:50 ratio – 50% local sales and 50% export. Yet, Kefraya doesn't want to lose its status in Lebanon while strongly pushing for exports. Château Kefraya is focusing on quality niche products that will be channeled through specialized high-end markets such as fine restaurants, liquor stores or specialized wine shops.
Europe and Great Britain are very important export destinations for Château Kefraya. The winery is interested in new markets like India or Brazil, too.
Around 15 varieties are being cultivated at Château Kefraya. Château Kefraya products range is divided as follows: Seduction wines, Celebration wines, Prestige wines, Charm wines and L'Anis en Folie.
Today, Château Kefraya is more than a wine-tourism location. Tourists who are visiting Kefraya can visit not only the vineyards but also the Roman tombs or take a walk in Kefraya's beautiful parks. The winery is currently developing a museum to showcase the entire history of Château Kefraya.
Regarding the international recognition, Château Kefraya can boast with several appreciations. Robert Parker graded the Comte de M and Vissi d'Arte at 89 out of 100, which is very close to excellence. The renowned Canadian connoisseur Michel Phaneuf gave five stars to the Comte de M in his guide and he compared the wine to the great vintages of Bordeaux.
Interviews with Château Kefraya: Reputation of Lebanese Wines: Building of a Global Brand and Quality Wines in Lebanon
Videos: Critique and Reviews of Chateau Kefraya by Wine Connoisseurs
Future of Lebanese Wine Depends on Stability and Competition
Oenotourism in Lebanon: Wine Tasting in Bekaa
Lebanon: The Art of Winemaking
Unique Wines Made in Lebanon | "Semper Ultra" Wines
Export of Lebanese Wine: Selling Lebanese Wine Abroad
Top Wine Producers in Lebanon
Founded by Jesuits monks, Château Ksara is the largest and oldest producer of wine in Lebanon. Château Ksara is producing 2.5 million bottles of high quality Lebanese wine: red, rose or white.
In 2012, Château Ksara aims to penetrate the Asian market, according to Elie Maamari, Oenologist, International Wine Juror and Export Manager at Ksara. Another target is Russia.
Château Ksara is number one on the Lebanese market but also in terms of the export - the winery has 39% share of Lebanese export.
Its current success is the introduction of Château Ksara wines on shelves of Marks & Spencers in the UK.
Château Musar is the third largest family-run wine producer in Lebanon. The Musar wines are renowned for their originality; Château Musar produces strictly natural wines. It is the natural wine which gives the winery a unique status in the world of wine.
Each vintage of Château Musar is different than the other. The 2011 vintage was appreciated by a famous American magazine from the West Coast. It was rated as one of the Top 100 wines for the year 2011. Château Musar winery was also put on the list of the Top 100 wineries in the December 2011 issue.
Château Musar produces wines in a natural way so that they are not killed by technology. These wine have the ability to age. Château Musar claims its wines produce by themselves.
Anyone who wants to know more about the Musar wines can do so by participating at tastings that the winery organizes all around the world.
Château Musar is currently focusing on the countries of South East Asia, Canada, South America and more importantly the United States.