Tour The Breathtaking Vineyards Of Lebanon

 

Lebanon has one of the oldest wine cultures in the world, dating back 5,000 years when the Phoenicians first began tending vineyards. They exported their wine to ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece and Carthage; introducing the world to viticulture and enology.

 

Wine making in Lebanon has suffered from war and conquest over the millennia, but in recent centuries it survived through monastic orders. In 1857, the Jesuits of Zahle began expanding it in earnest, buying 240 hectares of land in Tanayel where they founded a convent and planted vines. Despite French protection during the mandate, followed by Lebanon’s independence, this revival remained fairly limited. In the last few decades, though, Lebanese wine has reemerged in earnest, and while you can still find traditional sweet monastic wines, most wineries today are planting classic noble grapes and giving local twists to international styles.

 

It’s difficult to say exactly how many wineries there are in Lebanon, but even the most conservative estimate would put the number at over 50, producing approximately 9 million bottles a year. Most vineyards are concentrated in the Bekaa Valley and Mount Lebanon, but you can find them in Batroun, in the south, and elsewhere. Nearly all of the wineries listed here are willing to provide tours and tastings with advanced booking, and the major wineries frequently feature large complexes for tours and tastings with restaurants, terraces and even wine appreciation courses.

 

Unique Characteristics

While calcareous soil represents only 5% of the soil of the planet, Lebanon is made up of 80% of such favorable soil. Lebanon also enjoys a majority of sunny days across the seasons, and the Bekaa and Mount Lebanon in particular have warm days and cool nights. With high concentrations of lime and red clay, and often with gravely mixes in the terraced vineyards of the mountains, the country is perfectly suited for producing excellent wine grapes. 

Things to do

Vin de Bzommar

Bzommar is an Armenian convent dating back to 1749 and has preserved over 1,500 Armenian, Syriac and Arabic manuscripts. It has been producing wines...

St. Michael Winery

A boutique winery in the village of Maasser al-Chouf, in the foothills of Mount Lebanon, St. Michael’s makes a wide variety of wines and other...

Chateau Oumsiyat

Chateau Oumsiyat is a family winery started in Youssef Abou Sleiman in 1950. His grandson Joseph built a new winery in the village of Mtein, Mount...

Nabise Winery

In Mazraat Yashouh, Mount Lebanon, owner Nazih Metni works a 300-year-old vineyard planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah,...

IXSIR Winery

Producing reds, whites and rosés since 2010, IXSIR has quickly become a major player on the local Lebanese wine market. The winery grows Cabernet...

Chateau Isaac

Chateau Isaac is a boutique winery with vineyards in Deir al-Ahmar,  northern Bekaa, and vinification and bottling in Torzaya. It’s in a relatively...

Iris Domain

Iris Domain is named after the endangered Sofarana Iris, which is endemic to the Lebanese highlands. The estate vineyards range between 1,000 and 1,...

Domaine Wardy

A multi-award-winning winery in Zahle, Domaine Wardy is one of Lebanon’s largest and most prominent wine producers. The Wardy family bought the...

Bekaa

Domaine Wardy

A multi-award-winning winery in Zahle, Domaine Wardy is one of Lebanon’s largest and most prominent wine producers. The Wardy family bought the...

Domaine de Baal

Growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc on roughly eight hectares at 1,200 meters above sea level...

Clos St. Thomas

Said Touma’s family has a century of experience with alcohol, and his delightful, award-winning wines are aged in caves dug 30 meters down into the...

Chateau Qanafar

What began as owner George Naim’s hobby on a rocky plateau in the forested mountain above the town of Khirbet Qanafar is now a family-owned...

Chateau Nakad

The Nakad winery is a family business originally founded in 1923 by Joseph Nakad in Jdita, West Bekaa. With noble grapes including Cabernet, Syrah,...

Chateau Marsyas

Marsyas is the ancient name of the Bekaa Valley. The Saadé family chose a patch of uncultivated land here at 900 meters over sea level in 2004 and...

Chateau Khoury

At  1,300 meters above sea level in the eastern foothills of Mount Lebanon, Chateau Khoury was established by Raymond and Brigitte El Khoury in...

Chateau Heritage

The history of Chateau Heritage goes back to 1888, when Jibran Elias Touma established one of the first wineries and distilleries in Lebanon.  ...

North Lebanon

Domaine S. Najem

Salim and Hiba Najim started producing red wine in addition to their olive oil and arak in Chabtine, Batroun, in the early 1990’s. The couple have...

Coteaux de Bortys

In the village of Eddeh, Coteaux de Botrys overlooks the city of Batroun and the sea and has been producing red wines and arak since 1998, and a 300-...

Clos du Phoenix

Clos du Phoenix is a family winery with six hectares in the small village of Eddeh, Batroun, where its grapes enjoy clay and limestone and the...

Chateau Sanctus Domaine Marmama

Ramez Aouad’s vineyards sit at 900 meters above sea level and the land has been in the family for a century. This boutique winery produces just 12,...

Batroun Mountains Winery & Vineyards

Batroun Mountains is an organic winery owned and operated by the Hark family, in the mountains of Batroun District across six towns at altitudes...

Aurora Winery

Located in the northern village of Rachkedde, Batroun, Aurora Winery is a family-owned boutique winery dedicated to handcrafted wines using...

Mount Lebanon

St. Michael Winery

A boutique winery in the village of Maasser al-Chouf, in the foothills of Mount Lebanon, St. Michael’s makes a wide variety of wines and other...

Nabise Winery

In Mazraat Yashouh, Mount Lebanon, owner Nazih Metni works a 300-year-old vineyard planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah,...

Chateau Isaac

Chateau Isaac is a boutique winery with vineyards in Deir al-Ahmar,  northern Bekaa, and vinification and bottling in Torzaya. It’s in a relatively...

Iris Domain

Iris Domain is named after the endangered Sofarana Iris, which is endemic to the Lebanese highlands. The estate vineyards range between 1,000 and 1,...

Domaine Mar Chaaya

Located in Brummana, Metn, Mar Chaaya Monastery is home to the Antonin Maronite Order, which was founded in 1700 by Maronite Patriarch Gabriel...

Chateau Wadih

Chateau Wadih produces a unique probiotic red wine, created by owner Dr Bou Younes, who named his winery after his son, Wadih, who went on to become...

Chateau Musar

Housed in an 18th century castle in Ghazir, Chateau Musar is the best-known winery in Lebanon among international circles of dedicated oenophiles....

Chateau Florentine

Château Florentine, opened in 1997, overlooks the village of Majdel Maouche in the midst of its vineyards in the Chouf. The winemakers here focus...

South Lebanon

Karam Winery

A rare South Lebanon winery, Karam winery was founded by two brothers who grew up on an ancestral estate vineyard and decided to enrich Lebanese...