• 7000BC Modern scholarship is cautiously confident that early Lebanese create a vine and wine culture
• 3000BC – 330BC Phoenician traders begin making and exporting their wines to Egypt, Cyprus, Greece and Rome as well as what is now Sardinia and Spain
• Lebanon’s reputation for producing fine wines continues into the Middle Ages when those produced in Tyre and Sidon are coveted in Europe and traded by Venetian merchants.
• 1517 What is now Lebanon is absorbed into the Ottoman Empire. Winemaking is forbidden, except for religious purposes. This allows Lebanon’s Christians, mainly Maronites and Greek and Armenian Orthodox, to produce wine.
• 1857 Jesuit missionaries introduce new viticultural and vinicultural methods as well as new vines from French-governed Algeria, laying the foundations of the modern Lebanese wine industry.
• 1918 The French civil and military administration that govern Lebanon between the wars create unprecedented demand for wine,while Lebanon’s post-independence role as a cosmopolitan, financial hub sees the country enter an economic golden age, presenting further opportunities for a new wine culture to take hold.
• 1975 Lebanon descends into a 15-year civil war that stunts the development of the sector
• 1992-present with peace come new opportunities and unprecedented growth.
Bekaa Valley is the most well-known wine region, producing 90% of Lebanon’s wines. It profits from 3200 hours of sunlight during the growing season and has an altitude ranging from 3000 feet to 6000 ft. It is also home to Lebanon’s oldest and largest producing winery, Chateau Ksara, founded in 1857 by a Jesuit priest and Chateau Kefraya, second largest producer, established in 1979.
Batroun is a mountainous region to the north and the second largest in wine production. Vineyards thrive in an altitude of 1000 to 3300 feet grown on terraces due to the steep terrain. Batroun produces 6% of Lebanon’s wines.
Mount Lebanon is located in the south with the average vineyard planted at 3,000 feet and produces 4% of Lebanon’s wines. Although Mount Lebanon benefits from a Mediterranean climate, the altitude brings wet and snowy winters. Chateau Musar, founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar is located here. Chateau Musar is considered the third largest producer of wine in Lebanon and is also one of the most well known wineries.
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