South is gaining popularity amongst wine lovers for its exquisite wines
When we think of winemaking in Lebanon, our most immediate thought is the Bekaa Valley or Batroun due to the abundance of wineries and vineyards there. However, with its exceptional and fruitful terroir, the South is gaining popularity amongst wine lovers for its exquisite wines.
Two distinct wineries: Les Vignes de Marje and Karam Wines are particularly intriguing. Laced with stories of nationalism, Lebanese pride, passion and innovation, these two southern wineries offer a refreshing variety of locally made wines that are sure to make you proud of your Lebanese heritage!
Motivated by the sense of belonging to the great South, Les Vignes de Marje and Karam Wines respectively celebrate the essence of Jdeidet Marjeyoun and Jezzine by combining the traditional Lebanese experience with modern innovative standards.
In this blog post, we will raise a glass (or two) to the tantalizing wonders of Lebanese southern wine honed by Les Vignes de Marje and Karam Wines.
Karam Wines: A revolutionary mission
Before the grandiose establishment of Karam Wines, Lebanese wines predominantly hailed from the renowned Bekaa Valley. However, Karam Wines sought to broaden the horizons of Lebanese wine, planting vines in the magnificent South of Lebanon, carefully selecting grape varieties that would diversify the taste and showcase the unique flavors of the region.
The story of Karam Wines is the story of a proud Lebanese wine enthusiast. The owner, a renowned airplane pilot, used to dreamingly gape at the hills below as he flew high above the ground and longed to reconnect with the breathtaking vineyards like he did during his childhood.
With the intent of popularizing the South as a powerhouse of wine, Karam Wines flourishes amidst the lovely landscapes of Jezzine.
A marvelous terroir
Situated at elevations reaching up to 1,400 meters above sea level, Karam vineyards are perched upon the slopes of Jezzine, offering an awe-inspiring panorama that unfolds before the eyes.This unique geographical positioning infuses their wines with an unparalleled freshness, moderate alcohol levels, all derived from the remarkable terroir of Jezzine.
The elevation and proximity to the sea in Jezzine contribute to the creation of wines that are imbued with a natural acidity, lending a vibrant liveliness to the palate. This rounded acidity dances harmoniously with the fruit flavors, enveloping the senses with a refreshing crispness that enlivens the taste buds. Moreover, it is the distinctive minerality that weaves its way through the wines of Karam, an attribute directly derived from the terroir of Jezzine.
An exotic range
What makes Karam Wines a leader in Lebanese wine innovation, is the planting of foreign grape varieties that thrive in the microenvironment of sunny Jezzine. Karim Wines cultivates exotic varieties in the likes of alluring Albarino from Spain, the regal Touriga Nacional from Portugal, the enigmatic Saperavi from Georgia, and the homegrown treasure of Meksassi, an indigenous grape of Jezzine.
With creative pairing of notes and flavors, Karam Wines offers an exquisite series of wines called “Les Raretés” series - French for Rarities - enchants its drinkers with the divine taste of Jezzine’s wine palate .
This peculiar arrangement of red, white and rose wines offers a heightened journey of wine with its congruent yet complex endeavors.
Les Vignes de Marje: A surge of velvet
As the first ever vineyard in Jdeidet Marjeyoun, Les Vignes de Marje is empowered by its land of origin. Nestled in the heart of the Lebanese South, Marjeyoun, an unforeseen territory for viniculture, has proven to be home to an unparalleled selection of Lebanese wines.
The fructuous terroir
The fertile land, first harvested and assessed by the family of Les Vignes de Marje, encouraged the dreams of its owners to pursue this graceful project. Thriving off the pure stream of the Litani River, the soil of Jdeidet Marjeyoun is blessed by this chief body of water. Infused by the River with vitality and zest, unmatched rich flavor surges through the vines.
Jdeidet Marjeyoun, a gloriously sunlit terrain in the summer, is exalted by a warm and temperate climate, an idyllic setting for viticulture. In contrast, the winters in the Lebanese South are graced with plenty of rainfall that nurture the grapevines and prepare them for the bountiful harvest to come. It is within this harmonious cycle of nature that Les Vignes de Marje crafts its remarkable wines.
A tale of meticulous craft
As a fruit of elaborate wine-making efforts, the natural microenvironment of Marjeyoun provides a haven for viniculture where many varieties are cultivated by the talented hands of the winemakers. Fermented separately then married before bottling, the grape varieties are given enough time to develop their characters and complexities.
An elevated range of wines
Les Vignes de Marje proudly presents five elegant wines that showcase the essence of Ein Marjeyoun's terroir. Le Vin Du Marje, in its Rouge, Blanc, and Rose expressions, reflects the diverse and vibrant character of this land.
The velvety opulence of the deep and full-bodied Rouge, the aromatic acidity of the Lebanese sun colored Blanc and the refreshing Mediterranean breath rushing through the Rose showcase the gorgeous affluence of the Lebanese southern production.
The crown jewel, Couvent de M, is the epitome of Lebanese excellence. A true chef d’oeuvre, this elevated red wine has most importantly received the esteemed Patrice Frank Coup de Coeur award in October 2019 and merit from Vincenzo Melia Sassicaia Wine Maker in 2020.
While developing Couvent, an accidental masterpiece was created. Combining oak-aged Syrah with Cabernet and Merlot matured in aluminum tanks, the 2013 limited edition Rouge du Marje innovative bottle is the embodiment of brilliance.
The Marje wine experience, appropriately described as an iron fist in a velvet glove, is a mighty voyage into the delightful flavors of the Lebanese South.
Standing as a testament to the dedication and craftsmanship of its Lebanese winemakers, these two wineries are a gleaming beacon of innovation and patriotism. The synergy of passionate craftsmanship and astonishing southern terroir translate into an eloquent wine experience.