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Lebanon - Zahle Wine

 

 
 

Zahle Information

A red-roofed town set among the eastern foothills of Mount Sannine, Zahle enjoys a prime location in the Beqaa valley. Snowcapped mountains tower above it in winter, while in summer its 945 meter elevation keeps the air light and dry.

The city center spreads along both banks of the Berdawni River, with the older section of the upper elevations of the west bank. At the northern end of town is the Bardouni river valley known as Wadi el-Aarayesh (Grape Vine Valley) - the site of Zahle’s famous outdoor restaurants.

Zahle styles itself “The city of Wine and poetry”, and with good reason. In this century alone some 50 poets and writers were born here and almost as many excellent wines and araks have been produced in the area.

The romance of wine and poetry is balanced by Zahle’s more business like position as the administrative and commercial capital of the Beqaa valley (42.27% of Lebanon’s territory) as well as its rank as the country’s third largest city (population 150,000). Zahle is also an agricultural town which produces vegetables, fruit, grains and most importantly, grapes.

Wine And Arak in Zahle

Zahle’s association with the grape is pervasive, for it lies at the heart of an area that has been making wine since early antiquity. At the city’s southern entrance the statue of a graceful female personifies wine and poetry, but you don’t have to look far to see evidence of the real thing. The hills north of town with names like Wadi Hadi, Harqat, Bir Ghazour and Tell Zeina are covered with the neat rows of vineyards that supply Zahle’s wine and arak industries.

Many of the wines have been formally recognized abroad for their fine quality - equal to some of the best in Europe.

A tour of Zahle’s Ksara winery is a good way to see how wine and arak are made. Of special interest here are the extensive underground caves built around a natural grotto known and enlarged by the Romans.

Zahle Profile

 

 
 

 

Information From the Ministry of Tourism

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism

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