Lebanese wine tradition dates back 5,000 years, when the ancient inhabitants of Lebanon, the Phoenicians, first began tending vineyards. The Phoenicians exported wine to ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece and Carthage; introducing the world to viticulture and oenology. Lebanon is also said to be the place where Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine.
Chateau Ksara has preserved Lebanon's rich wine making heritage for over 150 years, laying down the foundation for Lebanon's modern wine making industry. Founded in 1857 by Jesuit Priests who produced the country's first dry red wine, Chateau Ksara is Lebanon's oldest, largest and most visited winery, attracting some 40,000 visitors per year.
Over the past decade, Ksara has seen the introduction of new grape varieties that have grown into vines the Bekaa valley has blissfully nurtured. Ksara has also seen developments in technique such as vines cultivation on wires and the attentive application of advanced science by French oenologists, who watch over the vinification, fermentation and decanting processes.
All of Ksara's vineyards are located in the central and western Bekaa Valley. At an average altitude of 1,000 meters, the Bekaa enjoys dry summers and has the added bonus of its own natural water table, courtesy of the melting snow that runs off the slopes of the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges.
The soil ranges from chalk, to clay and chalk, to clay and lime, but it is always stony. The Bekaa enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with heavy rains and snow in the winter, a mild spring and a dry (in some cases very dry) hot summer. The slope on either side of the valley and the valley itself create a unique micro-climate in which the cool nights compensate for the hot summer days.