VELVET UNDERGROUND

Cave-fermented wine, Ksara, Lebanon

Cave-fermented wine, Ksara, Lebanon
Image: Lauren Brown
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On a recent trip to Beirut, I ventured outside of the city to tour the Beqaa Valley. After exploring the largest Roman temple in the world, in Baalbek, we stopped at Château Ksara, Lebanon’s oldest winery, which was founded in 1857 by Jesuit priests.

Then things got interesting: In the 1890s some local chickens went missing. Apparently, a sly fox had been hiding them in a series of Roman-dug tunnels. Now, Ksara’s reds are aged in oak casks in those caves, which span two kilometers, with their natural temperature and humidity control.

We sampled a few of the winery’s varietals. I liked the Château Rouge 2014, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Château Ksara exports about 40% of its wines, so look out for one of its award-winning bottles.

For more curiosities from our travels, check out our Souvenirs page.