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Lebanese wines – a future despite all odds?



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Join Caro Maurer MW and a panel of experts for a webinar and guided tasting as they explore the challenges facing Lebanese wineries, the initiatives they are taking and what the future may hold for the industry.

Wine has been produced in Lebanon for millennia. The landscape of Lebanese wine has changed over the years. From the Jesuits in the mid 19th Century, to the French Protectorate from 1923 to 1946, which further reinforced the French influence on Lebanese wines. But the last two centuries have shaped what we know as Lebanese wine today. The wineries are now facing the impact of climate change in conjunction with an economic and political crisis.

By relying on the unique assets Lebanon has as a wine country it can overcome these difficult times. Today’s generation of Lebanese winemakers are rediscovering their roots and seeking out the varieties that initially gave this unique terroir its fantastic reputation for wine production. Domaine des Tourelles launched an old vine Cinsault in 2014 followed by an old vine Carignan in 2018, Chateau Ksara has Merweh and St. Thomas is working with Obeidy. The webinar will explore if this is a sufficient strategy to build a sustainable future?

Talking points on the agenda include:
– Lebanon’s political, social and economic situation
– Indigenous varieties/old vines
– Positioning of the wines on the world market/future aspects

Wine list (in tasting order)
1. Domaine Wardy, Obeidi 2016 
2. Chateau Musar, Chateau Musar white 2014 (this tasting previews the 2014 vintage)
3. Chateau Ksara, Old Vine Carignan 2018 
4. Domaine des Tourelles, Vielles Vignes Cinsault (UK sample pack contains 2018 vintage, Europe sample pack contains 2017 vintage)

Purchase wine samples – sales are now closed
A limited number of small bottle wine samples are available to purchase for this tasting. Samples can only be sent to addresses within mainland Europe and the UK. Samples cost £60 (inclusive of VAT) per box and will include a 50ml bottle of each wine. Alternatively you are welcome to source full bottle samples individually.

Gaston Hochar – general manager, Château Musar
Faouzi Issa – winemaker and managing director, Domaine des Tourelles
Elie Maamari – enologist, export manager, Chateau Ksara
Diana Salamé – winemaker, Domaine Wardy

About panellists
Gaston Hochar
Gaston Hochar is the General Manager of Chateau Musar. He first joined the winery in 1994, after returning from France at the end of the civil war in Lebanon. Mr Hochar is responsible for all aspects of production of Chateau Musar’s wines, as well as having a managerial oversight of the company’s other main activities including global marketing, risk management and finance. Prior to joining Chateau Musar, he was in charge of software development for the DSI department at Banque Paribas in Paris, France (1990-1994). Gaston Hochar holds a Masters degree in engineering from Ecole Centrale de Lille – IDN (France) where he graduated in 1989 and a Masters in Finance from Lille II University (1989). He passed his French baccalaureat C series in 1984.

Faouzi Issa
Co-owner and winemaker at Domaine des Tourelles, the oldest commercial winery established in 1868. The young generation of winemaking in Lebanon, Faouzi has been working on reviving old vines and varieties that were planted in the Bekaa Valley.  He has launched an old vines Cinsault, followed by an old vines Carignan and soon to be launched and old vines white wine.

Elie Maamari
Elie is the export manager of Chateau Ksara, the oldest winery in Lebanon having been established by the Jesuits in 1857. Chateau Ksara is also Lebanon’s largest winery.

Diana Salamé
Diana studied oenology at the Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin in Dijon, France. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1995, earning the ‘Diplôme National d’Oenologie’ and the ‘Diplôme Supérieur d’Enseignement et de Recherche’ in 1997. After finishing her studies, she had her work experience at Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy and at Jeanjean / AdVini in Languedoc-Roussillon. Returning to Lebanon, Diana joined the Domaine Wardy team in 2002, a time when wine making was a male-dominated profession, becoming the first female winemaker working in Lebanon.

About the IMW webinar series
Webinars are open to anyone who wishes to attend. All guests are welcome to submit questions in advance or during the webinar. The IMW uses the Zoom webinar platform, instructions on how to join will be emailed to you. Please check your junk or spam folder if you do not receive an email confirmation when registering. Unless specified otherwise, webinars are recorded and will be made available online here a few days after the event.

Please use the Q&A to raise questions and spark discussion. While we welcome a lively, rich and thorough debate, opinions should be considered and respectful. It is at the IMW/moderator’s discretion to remove offensive comments and potentially block guests from the event.

If you have any questions, please contact Belinda Eaton at


Image source: Domaine des Tourelles