In the antiquity The area was one of the cradles of wine culture (see also Mesopotamia ). Part of it belonged to in the Bible described Canaan of the Israelites. The northern part counted Phenicia, which also includes coastal sections of today Syria included. In the core area on the Mediterranean coast and also far out of it numerous Phoenician city states developed. The most significant in today's borders of Lebanon were Berytos (Beirut), Byblos (Djebeil), Sidon (Sayda) and Tyros (Sur). The Phoenicians ruled here under temporary strong influence of Egypt and Assyria from the 3rd millennium to the conquest of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) in 330 BC After excavations in Byblos there was already 5,000 years ago a viticulture culture. In Baalbek (now Heliopolis), now Lebanon's wine-growing center in the Bekaa Valley, the temple built in the 2nd century AD stands for the wine god Bacchus, Over the centuries, there has been a turbulent history with ever-changing Christian and Islamic dominions.
To a limited extent, viticulture has always been practiced in some areas, and even in the Middle Ages, the sweet wines from Tyros and Sidon were very popular. In the 13th century the area belonged to the domain for a long time Venice and wine was shipped from here to many European countries. By the Ottoman conquest in the beginning of the 16th century and the alcohol ban The viticulture came to a complete halt. This was revived only by French colonists, as in the period 1920-1946, the country was French mandate territory. By the end of the 1970s, Lebanon had a very high demand for wine, especially among the Western-oriented Christian population, whose share is around half.
With the beginning of the civil war from the year 1975, however, the consumption fell abruptly, and most of the vineyards were destroyed. Only the cult vineyard Château Musar remained in existence and only had to forego the harvest in 1976 and 1984. After the war, viticulture recovered again. In the 1990s, a lot of money was invested in the modernization of the wineries and meanwhile apply the wines of the two major Château Musar challengers Château Kefraya and Château Ksara qualitatively as nearly equal. In 2012, the vineyard covered 14,000 hectares. Most of the vineyards are located on the plateau of Ksara in the Bekaa Valley at an average altitude of 1,000 meters. Of these, 90,000 hectoliters of wine were obtained. There are also large quantities of brandy arrack, such as raisins and table grapes produced.
Most grape varieties were imported by Frenchmen. These are the red wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan Noir ( mazuelo ) Cinsault, Grenache Noir ( Garnacha Tinta ), Mourvèdre ( Monastrell ) Merlot and Syrah as well as the white wine varieties Clairette. Sauvignon Blanc, Merwah ( Sémillon ), Obaideh ( Chardonnay ), Ugni Blanc ( Trebbiano Toscano ) and Viognier, Important autochthonous are Beitamouni and Obeidi, Most of these are in low bush form ( gobelet ) behaved. The climate is with up to 300 sunny days a year, cool nights and sufficient rainfall ideal for viticulture. Well-known producers are Château Fakra. Château Kefraya. Château Ksara. Château Musar. Clos St. Thomas. Domaine Wardy, Héritage, Kouroum, Masaya and Nakad.