The esteemed author, Tom Stevenson of Sotheby’s, went out of his way to declare in The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, that “with the exception of one outstanding wine, Chateau Musar from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, and to a somewhat lesser extent Chateau Kefraya, and the Golan Heights Winery in Israel, fine wine is non-existent in the Levant.”
This mindset is exactly what the determined winemakers of the Eastern Mediterranean coastal countries are up against. Be it the anti-Mid East sentiment, developmental prejudice or other bias that the established wine trade may have against this region, not to mention its deep Muslim roots that have suppressed Oenological development for the past 1,400 years, these pioneers are facing an uphill battle.
Despite these roadblocks, Turkey and the Levant have been producing some truly noteworthy wines, especially some made from indigenous grapes. To read more about the irony and re-emergence of this exciting wine region, read Turkey & the Levant: Say hello to the “New” Old World, written exclusively for Cork’d.