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SPOTLIGHT ON: Mystic Grove

SPOTLIGHT ON: Mystic Grove

"You shall spread Chapter XII, but you shall also keep its recipe a secret… For those who dwindle to the bitterness of curiosity and reveal shall perish instantly", said the Owl of Mystic Grove 🦉

Step into the magical and mysterious world Mystic Grove 🔮✨

A 4 generation-old gin recipe conceived in Belgium and masterfully distilled in the Mtein region of Lebanon.
A journey of 12 carefully selected botanicals handpicked from all different corners of the world, for the ultimate mystical gin experience.
Blending spring water from the highlands with slow vapor infusions, Mystic Grove tells the story of how tradition and modernity can come together in a perfect harmony of taste, flavor and fragrance.

✨Join the magic HERE!
September 28, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Grenache Day!

Grenache Day!

Grenache is a red-wine grape variety known for its full body and sweet sensation 

Said to have originated from the Aragon area of Spain, its vigorous, hardy vine and strong wooden frame are resistant to wind and drought which makes the grape thrive in Mediterranean climates with low humidity.

Because of the environment is grows in, it is naturally high in alcohol, which makes it important for the production not only of red wines, but makes excellent rosés and sweet wines too.

Grenache yields wine with rich, spicy, berry flavors, particularly raspberry, subtle aromas of orange rinds and ruby-red grapefruit.
It is one of the most versatile grapes both to grow and to work with - which explains why it is one of the most planted variety in the world!

Explore its versatility at the link HERE

September 17, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
SPOTLIGHT ON: Arak du Marje

SPOTLIGHT ON: Arak du Marje

This week is all about Arak du Marje, a matured Lebanese arak, from Jdeidet Marjeyoun in the South of Lebanon.
 
Carole Khoury, founder and managing partner at Les Vignes du Marje says that this Arak is way to reconnect with her roots and her ancestors who have been making arak for generations and generations.

She planted the same grapes, on the same land where her grandfather used to make his arak years ago.

The result? A refined and pure product distilled four times in traditional stills!


Try it out HERE!
September 14, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
SPOTLIGHT ON: SATYR de Marsyas!

SPOTLIGHT ON: SATYR de Marsyas!

This week the spotlight is on Satyr by  Château Marsyas

Satyr de Marsyas refers to the single variety cuvée of the Château Marsyas estate.
Marsyas, as a satyr, is a mythical being of antiquity who distinguished himself by his absolute devotion to the god of wine.

Made from younger vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, this cuvée stands out by the complete absence of oak barrel aging.
It allows all interested amateurs to appreciate the quality of an easier to drink wine🍷
Check it out HERE!
August 27, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
SPOTLIGHT ON: SENDIÄNA

SPOTLIGHT ON: SENDIÄNA

This week we turn our spotlight on the gem that is  SENDIÄNA, winner of the IWSC Silver medal of 2014!

When Dr Charles Eid, founder of SENDIÄNA Wines, was setting up a winery in Lebanon, he knew he could utilise the perfect climate and terroir to produce the best wines that Lebanon had to offer.

Today SENDIÄNA is produced at the historic Monastery of St. Jean in the Mount Lebanon region of Khenchara; and while 75% of the grapes are from the Monastery’s own vineyards at 1000m altitude, the remaining 25% is Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bekaa Valley.

Blending grapes, climates and soils for an ultimate taste of the Lebanese terroir!

Check it out HERE!
August 26, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
SPOTLIGHT ON: Cuvée St. Elie Chardonnay

SPOTLIGHT ON: Cuvée St. Elie Chardonnay

" When we bought the building that is now the Chateau Heritage winery in 1997, the first vines that we cultivated were in the vineyard next to the winery. These vineyards are watched over by the statue of Saint Elias the patron saint of our winery. The summer of 2014 was the last harvest that our father Elias Tanios Touma participated in, before he passed away in January 2015.

As an homage to the founder of this company, a beloved and respected father and a great man, and to commemorate the last harvest we celebrated together, we are releasing this special Chateau Heritage Cuvée St. Elie. 
Saint Elie is the patron saint of our father, our family and our winery and this wine is intended as a celebration of our father’s passion for life. 

Now, 20 years later we decided to ferment the grapes of these vineyards with oak staves and the result was an amazing white wine we are extremely proud of"

 

Chateau Heritage Cuvée St. Elie White has a brilliant pale yellow color. Intense nose of yellow fruits and dried fruits with fine spices. Beautiful full mouthfeel.

 

Discover more HERE!

August 18, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
How Sweet!

How Sweet!

Sweet wines are often overlooked and reduced to being desert wines instead of being enjoyed for what they are.
In our book, they are a sweet and delicate surprise that should rightfully remain on the list of any true wine-lover.

 

What are sweet wines?

Historically, sweet wines used to be the envy of the whole world! Before the advances of technology and refrigeration, and before modern winemaking techniques, sugars were added to wine to stabilize its taste and prolong its life.
If we want to go at it simply, wine is made by converting the natural sugars found in grapes into alcohol and carbon dioxide by using yeast. Usually, to obtain a dry wine, nearly all of the sugars are fermented out of the grapes in the process.
If any sugar remains, then the wine is considered sweet.


How is sweet wine made?

In the past, grapes were left out to dry in the sun after harvest. The water of the grapes then evaporates, leaving them with a high sugar level that makes the wine sweet.
With today’s modern techniques, other methods are used to produce sweet wine such as filtration for example: when a winemaker has obtained the level of sweetness he wishes, he can filter out the yeast, thus controlling the level of sweetness of his wine.
A winemaker can also decide to stop the fermentation process before all the sugars have turned into alcohol, keeping some residual sugars in the wine.

 

The world of Sweet wine is so versatile, creating space for more experimentation and creativity. Sweet wine can be obtained using white or red grapes. Their varietals are endless, so are their types, colors and origins.
As Lebanese wine lovers, we are in love with everything eclectic, and there isn’t a more eclectic world than those of Sweet and Lebanese wines.

Discover what we mean HERE!

January 20, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Go Organic!

Go Organic!

Simply put, organic wines are produced with organically grown grapes, free from pesticides, herbicides and GMO yeasts.


Although sulfites levels might differ, the most common point to highlight is that organic wines should not contain any added sulfites.

What are sulfites you ask?

Sulfites, also known as sulfur dioxide, occur naturally during the fermentation process, to work as a preservative against certain yeast and bacteria- things that can ruin a wine instantly if they grow.

However, the amount of sulfite produced naturally during fermentation is not enough to preserve a wine’s life, so wineries have taken upon themselves to add some in order to protect their wine.

 

In fact, Sulfites are widely used in the Food and Beverage industry as a flavor enhancer and food preservative. In wine, sulfites are used to maintain the flavor of the wine in the bottle, prolong its shelf life, and especially prevent the wine from browning - something that could instantly change the color and flavor of the wine.

 

So, in order to grow organic grapes, a winemaker must implement a different set of practices to maintain its vines. Practices that might make the winemaking process more challenging, but the end result is a simpler, more natural product, that is equally dynamic in flavor and taste.

 

Lebanon has a few organic wineries spread across all regions, that produce amazing organic wines unique to their terroir.


We've compiled a list for you to discover the world of Organic Lebanese wine, so just click HERE and explore!

January 14, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine
Château Qanafar: The Detailed Work of a Meticulous Winemaker

Château Qanafar: The Detailed Work of a Meticulous Winemaker

 

A fascinating sight in the West of Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, Château Qanafar greets its visitors with a pleasant blend of architectural ambition and rich valley landscapes. Château Qanafar is a young winery but has earned a rightful place in the market as one of the best wines in the region. 

Château Qanafar today is the meticulous masterpiece of winemaker, Eddy, a well-travelled yet purely Lebanese family man, whose passionate approach doesn’t take away from his sharp focus on the craft. A winemaking genius, Eddy’s subtle disposition presents a brutal contrast with the intensity and minimalistic exuberance of his wines.

According to the winemaker himself, the key is to carefully monitor the winemaking process:

“We like to have full control of every step of the vinification process.  The wine is made solely from our own vineyards ensuring that there are no added chemicals or unwanted biological processes.  We follow a simple doctrine: grow great fruit and respect from berry to bottle.  The winemaker’s role is to shepherd the quality of the fruit into the bottle, preserving the natural flavors and aromas rather than “create” a wine”

 At Château Qanafar, all of this monumental innovation is designed carefully to enhance, never interfere with the inherited traditions of Lebanese winemaking. Château Qanafar, exemplifies that the careful focus on the vinification process, from soil to bottle, is what delivers the true Lebanese wine experience. 

This is worth fighting for.

No matter what our description is, the true scope of its genius is best experienced first-hand, through its wines:

CLICK HERE to discover!

 

December 16, 2020 — 209 Lebanese Wine
What makes Lebanese wine what it is?

What makes Lebanese wine what it is?

 Lebanese Wine

Winemaking in Lebanon dates back to Phoenician rule.

The Lebanese winemaking industry has been relatively active in the recent past, with a current count of 60 wineries compared to just 5 in the early 1990s, and a current annual production of 9 million bottles. There’s also been an increased interest in wine culture in Lebanon as wineries have been reporting greater numbers of visitors.

Most Lebanon’s wineries are considered small-to-medium-sized and are known to place great emphasis on the quality of wine, thereby resulting in somewhat conservative quantities being produced.

Lebanese wine has created a name for itself in international markets and is considered a quality ambassador to the country abroad. That said, its production remains rather small, with approximately 9 million bottles being produced annually according to The Union Vinicole du Liban (UVL) statistics

Lebanon has the unique advantage of many microclimates, which allows for wine production in different regions across the country. Most wineries are located in the Bekaa Valley and Chouf region, where a natural water table and clay-calcareous soils—respectively—offer appropriate climates for wine production. More recently established wineries are veering towards Batroun, where vineyards are planted either sea-facing or further inland

Lebanese wine is very distinct in taste. What makes wine what it is is its “terroir”. Terroir is a term given to explain the grapes’ upbringing in a sense; the soil, climate, terrain, and even surrounding micro flora. That said, among Lebanese wine, wines coming from different regions have different characteristics. Here’s a glimpse of the different Lebanese regions: 

 

The Bekaa valley is Lebanon’s most known region when it comes to winemaking. The region uses its own water supply that comes from the melting snow on the Lebanese mountains. Its Mediterranean climate explains the dry summers and wet, cold, winters. Despite its limited rainfall, the Bekaa region is Lebanon’s most important farming area.

 

The second most wine-producing region in Lebanon, after Bekaa, is Batroun, where grapes are grown at altitudes between 400 and 1,300m, and either facing the sea or more inland. The region’s very diverse character makes it a hub for the birth of boutique wineries and distinct wines.

 

The terroir in the Mount Lebanon  region is characterized by its warm summers and mild winters, which render the grapes distinct in taste. The area is exposed to the Mediterranean on its west and southwest, and has calcareous clay soil that delays the ripening of the grapes and is known to produce more acidic wines.

 

The South’s famous range of microclimates, along with its valleys and plateaus, give the region great potential in producing remarkable and different wines. Grapes are generally grown at altitudes that range from 600m to 1,300m in soils that also differ from one area to the next.

 

Although a great number of the grapes grown in Lebanon are originally French (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, …etc), there’s so much more to the making of wine that sets Lebanese wine apart, and makes it worth the experience. Stay tuned for a closer look at the different regions and their distinct wines!

According to Mr Zafer Chaoui, president of Union Vinicole du Liban, the exceptional weather permits for the Lebanese wineries to produce natural wine with almost no use of chemicals along with a unique terroir in altitude.

The terroir plays a very important role in the taste of the wine (its phenolic composition, fruitiness ….

The terroir is affected by several factors:

- Altitude

- Orientation

- Soil composition

- Topography

He also specified that Lebanon is an extremely small wine producing country and therefore we have no other choice but to produce high quality wines. Besides, we need to compare what is comparable (we can’t compare a cheap Bordeaux or a Chianti with a “Château” wine).

Furthermore, we shouldn’t forget that Lebanon doesn’t produce colored bottles, corks, caps… all of the packaging materials has to be imported which leads to a cost increase.

Enjoy a bottle from our selection, and live the story of Lebanese Wine

 

October 16, 2020 — Faye Hechme