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Riachi Winery & Distillery: A promise to the ancestors

It all started in 1839 when Roy Riachi’s ancestors passionately built their first “khommara” to produce alcoholic beverages and sell them to the neighboring villages of Khenchara – and the rest, as they say, is history…

In fact, just by looking at the striking diversity and creativity behind the designs and bottles, one would think that it’s a young winery. However, Riachi is one of the oldest wineries and distilleries in Lebanon. Great winemakers, but also groundbreaking visionaries: when Roy’s great grandfather incorporated liquor into their production, he really was a trend-setter at the time.

  

Roy takes pride in having taken up on his ancestors' promise to put Lebanese wine and spirits on the map. He is today the 8th generation winemaker and master distiller at Riachi Winery & Distillery. He has amazing stories to tell about how Riachi ended up where it is today, overcoming invasions, conflicts and wars.
The key to passing the winery on from generation to generation is simple: you cannot be in it just for the love of business, you need to be in it for the love of the craft.

That’s why he never settles for the comfort of his winemaking history. Instead, he never stops finding ways to innovate: Innovation found in the techniques, in the bottles, in the storytelling, and in the overall experience. For example, Riachi’s Athryr is the first ever Lebanese single malt whiskey. Made of melted barley, harvested from the Beqaa Valley and aged in new Lebanese Oak, Athyr is Lebanese through and through. 

Today, Riachi has released Levant Highlands, their 100% Lebanese craft malt whiskey. A tribute to Mount Hermon, home to the palace of Baal, the Canaanite god of seasons and fertility, it gives off toasted notes of chocolate, toffee, roasted coffee and even vanilla, condensed milk, and confitures.

No matter what, Roy stays focused on the everlasting promise of his ancestors, that wine and spirits should only serve the purpose of bringing people together. With this in mind, Riachi Winery & Distillery maintains a steady path towards keeping the legacy untouched.

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February 22, 2021 — 209 Lebanese Wine

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