Lebanon’s Château Ksara in Malta
Founded in 1857 by Jesuit priests who produced the country’s first dry red wine, Château Ksara is Lebanon’s oldest, largest and most visited winery, attracting some 40,000 visitors per year. Château Ksara has preserved Lebanon’s rich wine making heritage for over 150 years, laying down the foundation for Lebanon’s modern wine making industry.
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.
Château Ksara Rouge is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, aged in new oak for 12 months. This Lebanese take on a traditional claret assemblage is made to age gracefully. Raspberry, blackcurrant and vanilla aromas make way for a powerful, spicy, leather-tinged palate, of extraordinary length and complexity.
Other wines available locally are their Blanc des Blancs, the sweet fortified Moscatel, Reserve du Couvent and the premium Le Souverain which has a dense deep purple red robe, with a remarkable bouquet of dark wild berries, and an underlining of liquorice, fenugreek and carob, accompanied by a highly complex olfactory range.
Château Ksara also produce Ksarak – an outstanding example of Arak, Lebanon’s national drink, made with the finest grape alcohol, to which aniseed from the Al Heenah area of Mount Hermon (considered the finest aniseed in the world) is added. The spirit is distilled to release the purest Arak, which is then aged for two years in clay jars.
Château Ksara wines and arak are proudly imported, marketed and distributed by Farsons Beverage Imports Company (FBIC) Limited, a member of the Farsons Group.