Batroun is home to some of the best wineries in Lebanon. Here you can taste and buy organic wines that are made from grapes grown in the mountainous terrain of the district.
You can visit Batroun’s wineries any time of the year, as most are open all year round and offer different activities and events depending on the season. For example, you can join the grape harvest in September, or enjoy the Christmas festivities in December. No matter when you visit, you will find a friendly and welcoming atmosphere..
History of Wine Making in Batroun
Wine has a long and rich history in Lebanon, dating back to the ancient Phoenicians who were among the first to cultivate vines and trade wine across the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians brought their vines to Batroun around 2000 BC, and the region became known for its wine production until the Middle Ages. However, when the Ottoman Empire conquered Lebanon in 1517, wine production was banned except for religious purposes.
Wine production resumed in Lebanon after the end of the Ottoman rule in 1918, and especially after the establishment of the state of Lebanon in 1943. Many Lebanese winemakers returned from France with new skills and techniques and started to revive the wine industry in the country. Today, Lebanon has over 50 wineries that produce around 9 million bottles of wine per year, mostly reds but also whites and rosés.
Batroun is the second-largest wine region in Lebanon, after Bekaa Valley, and it produces around 6% of the total wine output. The wineries in Batroun are found at high altitudes ranging from 400 to 1500 meters (about 4921.26 ft) above sea level, where the vines grow on narrow terraces on steep slopes. The climate in Batroun is hot and dry, with cool breezes from the sea that moderate the temperature. The soil is rocky and well-drained, with ferric clays and limestone plates. These conditions make the grapes struggle to survive, but also give them more concentration and flavor.
The wines from Batroun are intense in color and full of character, reflecting the terroir and the culture of the region. The wineries in Batroun use both indigenous and international grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Muscat, Obeidiyeh, Merwah, and Khenar.
Benefits of Wine
Wine is not only a delicious drink that can enhance your meals and occasions, but it also has many health benefits.
Wine holds antioxidants, polyphenols, and resveratrol, which are substances that can protect your cells from damage and inflammation. Wine can also lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well as improve your digestion and metabolism.
However, wine should be consumed in moderation, as too much alcohol can have negative effects on your liver, brain, and overall health.
How to Choose Wine
Choosing wine can be a daunting task for many people, especially when faced with a wide range of options and prices. Here are some tips to help you find the best wine for your needs:
– Know your preferences: Do you prefer red or white wine? Dry or sweet? Light or full-bodied? Fruity or spicy? Knowing what kind of wine, you like can narrow down your choices and make it easier to find a suitable bottle.
– Know your budget: Wine prices can vary greatly depending on the quality, origin, age, and reputation of the wine. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a good wine, but you should also avoid cheap wines that might be low-quality or adulterated.
– Know your occasion: Different wines suit various occasions and purposes. For example, if you are buying wine for a dinner party or a gift, you might want to choose a more expensive or prestigious wine that can impress your guests or recipients. If you are buying wine for yourself or for casual drinking, you might want to choose a more affordable or versatile wine that can go well with different foods or moods.
– Know your food: Wine and food pairing is an art and a science that can enhance your dining experience. Generally, you should match the weight, flavor, and intensity of the wine with the food. For example, light and crisp wines go well with seafood and salads, while rich and full-bodied wines go well with meat and cheese.
– Know your wineries: If you want to learn more about the wine you are buying, you should research the wineries that produce them. You can visit the wineries in person and take a tour or a tasting to see how they make their wines and what makes them unique.