The Origin

The country’s dry, sunny climate and landscape is ideal for grape growing. The snow-capped Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains provide protection for the high-elevation vines of the Bekaa Valley, many grown at more than 3,000 feet. Elevation also plays a key role in the rugged hills of the Jezzine wine region in the south. In Batroun, a region north of Beirut, the vineyards are cooled by the Mediterranean Sea.


Historically used to produce Arak, the anise flavored distilled spirit of Lebanon, this white variety is now becoming a popular choice for wine production.  Once thought to be a clone of Chardonnay, DNA analysis has confirmed it is indeed an indigenous Lebanese variety. It often yields wine with a creamy texture and flavors of honey and lemons. Chateau St. Thomas, Domaine Wardy, Chateau Ardoum & Vertical 33 produce 100% Obaideh wines and several others include it in white blends.


Grown in the high elevation of Lebanon’s mountains, Merwah is a white grape thought to be related to Semillion.  With light citrus and nutty flavors, it is most often blended, but can also be seen produced as Pét-nat by Mersel Wines and as a single variety bottling by Chateau Oumsiyat.


Another white indigenous variety, Meksassi, is often seen wild and trained around large oak trees.  With classic flavors and aromas of citrus, stone and tree fruit, it is often aged in oak barrels. and Karam Wines produces Meksassi as a single variety wine.


Sobbaghieh is a rare teinturier grape with red skin and red flesh.  A medium-bodied wine with flavors of dark berries and sweet spices, it is produced in small quantities and as a 100% variety wine by Chateau Cana.