Domaine des Tourelles was founded in 1868 by French adventurer François-Eugène Brun and is one of the most highly acclaimed and oldest wineries still operating in Lebanon. It was also the first commercial cellar in 'modern' Lebanon to produce wines, arak and other spirits. This place has history! The Brun family owned and ran the winery up until the last descendant died in 2003 but luckily two local families - the Issa and Issa el-Khoury families - joined forces to buy the property and continue the fine tradition of winemaking.
Today, this Bekaa Valley estate is run by the three Issa children - twins Faouzi and Johanne and their sister Christiane, alongside Emile Issa-el Khoury, son of one of the co-owners. This young and dynamic combination have introduced a handful of practices in the vineyards and cellar including the use of indigenous natural yeasts, no fining or filtering, and only very small amounts of sulphur. These techniques along with fruit from 40 hectares of ancient, organically cultivated and dry-farmed vineyards (among the oldest in the valley) and a winery perfect for hands-off winemaking, make Domaine des Tourelles one of the finest boutique wineries in the Middle East.
A blend of two indigenous Lebanese varieties that likely trace their lineage back to the Phoenicians, this wine is made from very old vines grown in altitude. Merweh vineyards are spread over the mountians of Bsharreh to the west of the Bekaa Valley at 1,400m altitude, in amongst the famous cedars of Mount Lebanon. Merweh is a resistant variety which has adpated very well to the Mediterranean mountain climate and ecosystem. Due to the wild nature of the Merweh vines, the ripening was uneven and required several passes and a skilled team to select only perectly ripe grapes. Obeidi vineyards are grown on the hills of Zahleh - the capital of Bekaa Valley - at 1,100m altitude. These 50 year old vines are trained using a pergola system to ensure they enjoy the best sun exposure to reach maximum ripeness and balance on this late-ripening grape. Obeidi is a reliable and very resitant grape, considered to be the backbone of Behaa Valley's vines throughout its winemaking history.
Both varieties were cold fermented separately, using wild yeast widely present in the winery. Once fermentation was complete, the wines we blended and stored for a short period of time in stainless steel tanks to keep the original freshness of the blend.
This blend of Merweh and Obeidi is golden in colour, the nose has natural aromas of ripened grapes, apple skin and a mix of herbs and spices. Mineral and savoury on the palate, the wine shows notes of dried figs and fresh almonds on the finish.
Try with baba ghanouj or Sea bream with smoked vegetables.