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