Lebanon

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AaronB
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Joined: January 7th, 2019, 5:51 am
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Lebanon

#1 Post by AaronB » January 7th, 2019, 9:22 am

Hi!

I've been a lurker on and off over the years but finally got round to signing up.

I am hoping to go to Lebanon either this year or next and looking for some advice from anybody who has done a similar trip before. Googling is just bringing me up results for companies who do day tours for general tourists - I've done this kind of trip before in other countries and it's far too general and boring, I'm after the full wine geek experience but finding it hard to get much good info on how to go about organising that (although blog posts of those in the industry who've done it look incredible).

Wineries I want to visit are : Musar, Ksara, Kefraya, Domaine des Tourelles and Nakad.

Is it better to do it all from Beirut or stay in the Beqaa, and if so where? Is it better to book through a company or contact the wineries direct for a tour and then try and hire transport?

Any tips on best time of year to visit? Now everything is covered in snow so I was thinking Summer but I’m flexible with that - not sure if its worth going during harvest as a tourist for instance.

Many thanks in advance and I'm sorry for my first post being all about asking for info!
Bh@v5@r

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Jim Stewart
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Re: Lebanon

#2 Post by Jim Stewart » January 7th, 2019, 10:08 am

Hey Aaron, Welcome. I will try to make you feel less bad by asking you for info! Of the wineries that you mention besides Musar, it would interest me and perhaps others if you have had experience drinking their wines. Of course Musar is well known, and has almost a cult-like following on this board and elsewhere. I recognize some of the other names also, but have seen very few tasting notes about their wines. Others please feel free to chip on. Best, -Jim
Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season.

AaronB
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Location: UK

Re: Lebanon

#3 Post by AaronB » January 7th, 2019, 11:22 am

Jim Stewart wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 10:08 am
Hey Aaron, Welcome. I will try to make you feel less bad by asking you for info! Of the wineries that you mention besides Musar, it would interest me and perhaps others if you have had experience drinking their wines. Of course Musar is well known, and has almost a cult-like following on this board and elsewhere. I recognize some of the other names also, but have seen very few tasting notes about their wines. Others please feel free to chip on. Best, -Jim
Hi Jim.

Musar is probably the wine that really got me into wine, if that makes sense!

Ksara I've tried a few wines of, but never their top wine. M&S (an upmarket department store / supermarket in the UK) stocks their Reserve du Covent which I've drunk a lot of. It goes in and out of stock. It's a very easy drinking wine with great complexity at an incredible price point (£10).

https://www.marksandspencer.com/chateau ... /p60033121

Kefraya I've only ever had one vintage of, I think it was the 2007 or 2008. It was a really complex wine but it was a while ago. I believe the importer delisted it. Domaine des Tourelles I had never seen avaliable until this Christmas when Sainsbury's (UK supermarket) stocked it at £10. My local branch only got 12 bottles and I bought 3 - I wish I bought them all. This one needed around 6 hours in the decanter to open up but when it did was phenomenal. That leaves Nakad who's wines I have never tried or seen for sale.

The reason for the trip is really the chance to see Musar! The other 4 are because I enjoyed the 3 of them and because (if I have my facts right) the 5 I listed are the only wineries that survived the civil war and thus have a lot of history.

I've tried wine from a few newer wineries recently including Ka, Massaya, Sendiana and Ixsir too but I cant do them all sadly. Of course none of the others really come close (or try to I guess) to the legendary Musar style. I'm terrible at tasting notes and don't really make notes so I don't want to them any injustice but I enjoyed them a lot.
Bh@v5@r

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Jim Stewart
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Re: Lebanon

#4 Post by Jim Stewart » January 7th, 2019, 11:31 am

Thanks Aaron. I have a single bottle of the Tourelles "Syrah du Liban' (their top wine I believe) waiting so your comments are encouraging. I also sent you a Private Message with some info that might be helpful. Cheers -Jim
Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season.

dbailey
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Re: Lebanon

#5 Post by dbailey » January 7th, 2019, 2:58 pm

Aaron,

Several threads on uk wine pages and contributors from Lebanon itself.

Dan
Dan

Jeff Loftus
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Re: Lebanon

#6 Post by Jeff Loftus » January 10th, 2019, 3:00 am

We visited Ksara on the way back from the Baalbak Roman Ruins, which are amazing. We weren't even expecting much, and we were still disappointed. Untrained and uninterested staff, wines were not to our liking, and visitors treated like uniformed cattle. We hired a driver for the day, but wouldn't recommend him.

Interesting side notes on Bekaa, weed grows everywhere, at tourist sites, Hezbollah t-shirts are being sold like Mickey shirts at Disney (everywhere), and the general area seemed extremely economically depressed and conservative. We had no intention to stay in the area, so I admit that I didn't research any places to stay.

AaronB
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Re: Lebanon

#7 Post by AaronB » January 10th, 2019, 5:04 am

Oh that's a real shame to hear Jeff :(

I've seen some blog posts of great experiences there, but they were from people working in the industry so I guess they make a lot of effort to look after them.
Bh@v5@r

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