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KSARA

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LEGACY

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Ever since it was founded in 1857, Château Ksara has embodied the core values of Tradition, Nobility, and Modernity. As Lebanon’s oldest winery, we have made it our mission to not only continue our centuries-old practice of winemaking, but to also implement the newest and most innovative processes to set standards in winemaking for generations to come.

WINEMAKING SINCE 1857

Learn more about our historical milestones by selecting a date.

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1857

Pioneers in the Bekaa

Jesuit monks inherit a 25-hectare plot of land situated between Tanail and Zahle in the Bekaa Valley. Resident priest Father Kirn recognized the potential of the terroir and convinced the other priests to plant French vines imported from Algeria. In doing this the Jesuits produced Lebanon’s first “dry wine,” and laid the foundations of the country’s modern wine industry.

1857

Pioneers in the Bekaa

Jesuit monks inherit a 25-hectare plot of land situated between Tanail and Zahle in the Bekaa Valley. Resident priest Father Kirn recognized the potential of the terroir and convinced the other priests to plant French vines imported from Algeria. In doing this the Jesuits produced Lebanon’s first “dry wine,” and laid the foundations of the country’s modern wine industry.

1898

The Roman caves are discovered

Roman era cellars are unearthed after the Jesuits try to smoke out a fox that has been killing their chickens. Until then, good storage for keeping wine at the correct temperature had been hard to come by and the priests celebrate their good fortune. Since then, the 2-kilometer caves, which maintain a constant temperature and hygrometry throughout the year, have played a key role in aging Chateau Ksara’s premium wines.

1898

The Roman caves are discovered

Roman era cellars are unearthed after the Jesuits try to smoke out a fox that has been killing their chickens. Until then, good storage for keeping wine at the correct temperature had been hard to come by and the priests celebrate their good fortune. Since then, the 2-kilometer caves, which maintain a constant temperature and hygrometry throughout the year, have played a key role in aging Chateau Ksara’s premium wines.

1902

A Bekaa landmark

The Middle East’s first observatory is established at Ksara so that the monks can diligently record rainfall and seismic activity. The building, which was to become a strategic Bekaa landmark in times of both peace and war, is the second Chateau Ksara icon to have a wine, Blanc de L’Observatoire, named in its honor. The first, Le Prieure, is named after the bell tower above the chapel.

1902

A Bekaa landmark

The Middle East’s first observatory is established at Ksara so that the monks can diligently record rainfall and seismic activity. The building, which was to become a strategic Bekaa landmark in times of both peace and war, is the second Chateau Ksara icon to have a wine, Blanc de L’Observatoire, named in its honor. The first, Le Prieure, is named after the bell tower above the chapel.

1920

The French arrive

The new post-Ottoman era saw the arrival of tens of thousands of French civil servants and soldiers, all of whom who needed a regular supply of wine. The Jesuits, who until this point had made wine for their own consumption in Lebanon and abroad, sell their wine under the label Caves de Ksara.

1920

The French arrive

The new post-Ottoman era saw the arrival of tens of thousands of French civil servants and soldiers, all of whom who needed a regular supply of wine. The Jesuits, who until this point had made wine for their own consumption in Lebanon and abroad, sell their wine under the label Caves de Ksara.

1973

The Jesuits sell!

The Vatican encourages its monasteries and missions around the world to sell off any commercial assets. By then, Château Ksara is producing 1.5 million bottles annually. But the monks’ success is now deemed to be at odds with their religious work and Château Ksara was optioned to a consortium of wine loving investors who are keen to preserve the heritage of the historic winery.

1973

The Jesuits sell!

The Vatican encourages its monasteries and missions around the world to sell off any commercial assets. By then, Château Ksara is producing 1.5 million bottles annually. But the monks’ success is now deemed to be at odds with their religious work and Château Ksara was optioned to a consortium of wine loving investors who are keen to preserve the heritage of the historic winery.

1991

New exciting varieties are planted

In 1991, Château Ksara is the first to plant new grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. No one – at least the local farmers – believe these grapes would survive in Bekaa Valley’s relatively untested terroir. But eventually they are convinced as the grapes thrive and herald a new and exciting era for the Lebanese wine industry.

1991

New exciting varieties are planted

In 1991, Château Ksara is the first to plant new grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. No one – at least the local farmers – believe these grapes would survive in Bekaa Valley’s relatively untested terroir. But eventually they are convinced as the grapes thrive and herald a new and exciting era for the Lebanese wine industry.

CERTIFICATES

Words from Zafer Chaoui, Chairman of Château Ksara