Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lebanese wine. But for how long?

"De Bustros started selling wine here in 1979, in the middle of the civil war.

"I fulfilled a dream for myself," the 79year-old businessman says.

The castle's salonis covered with awards for the best Kefraya wines. Just last year, the "Château Kefraya 2002" won the gold medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Years ago, wine-pope Robert Parker in The Advocate rated Kefraya's Cuvée Prestige "Comte de M," 91 out of 100 points.

A quarter century ago, in June 1982, IDF troops moved into the Bekaa Valley just after Syrian positions north of Kefraya had been bombed. De Bustros remembers those stormy days well.

"The Israeli soldiers erected four camps on our vineyards, and the battles against the Syrians took place just around it," he recalls.

The quality of the wines apparently didn't suffer: the vintage of 1982 won the silver medal at the competition of BlayeBourg in Bordeaux - the first of 200 awards over the decades to follow.

"Nothing can stop the Lebanese," de Bustros says with a smile, as we sit in the restaurant Dionysos, which belongs to the property.

In 1987, only eight years after having founded the estate, he started exporting, despite all the difficulties of a land at war.

During Israel's siege on Beirut in 1982, for example, when transport from the capital to the Bekaa Valley was not possible, he shipped corks and bottles via boat from Jounieh to Saida, from where they could be brought over the Shouf Mountains to Kefraya. This was an art of improvisation, making the export of 15,000 bottles possible.

Today, it's one million bottles a year to 35 countries worldwide." (Thanks D.)

Not an exceptionally interesting article until you realize that it was published in the Jerusalem Post.

1 comment:

bech said...

The question to ask is who the f.. is Roman Lederer, is he Israeli, and was he in Lebanon recently?

You should inform Hizbullah's politburo. They take care of such cases.