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Chateau Heritage – Lebanon

The Chateau Heritage winery in the Bekaa plain, on the border with Syria, is one of the youngest wineries in the country, but in the hands of a family with more than 100 years of winemaking tradition. It was published in July 2019 and again in July 2020 under the 50 best wineries in the world chosen!!!

Rosé d´une Nuit 2018

Cuvée from four vines: Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan and Syrah
0.75 bottle
13% vol. alc.
contains sulphites

The intense rose-colored wine, with orange reflections, plays fruity on the nose, with finesse, length and complexity in the mouth.
Drinking temperature: 8-12 degrees

Selling price: 9.50 euros / btl.

St. Elie Rose 2019

Cuvée made from 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
0.75 l bottle
13% vol. alc.
contains sulphites

The pink rose creates pleasant aromas of red fruits and rock candy in the nose, elegant notes of cherry and strawberry in the mouth.
Drinking temperature: 8-12 degrees

Selling price: 12.95 euros / btl.

Saint Elie – white
Chardonnay and Viognier
Vintage 2018
Chateau Heritage Winery, Kab Elias, Lebanon
contains sulphites
Oak barrel maturation

0.75 l bottle
12.5% vol .;

Price: 12.95 euros
(Price per liter: 17.26 euros)

Saint Elie – red
Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault grapes
2015 vintage
Chateau Heritage Winery, Kab Elias, Lebanon
contains sulphites

0.75 l bottle;
14% vol .;

In the nose hints of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cassis. Red and black berries on the palate, elegant tannin structure.

Price: 12.95 euros
(Price per liter: 17.26 euros)

Chateau Heritage, Vinoix

Nutmeg grapes – matured together with crushed green walnuts;
Note: Walnuts can cause allergen reactions!

0.5 l bottle;
20% vol .;
Chateau Heritage Winery, Kab Elias, Lebanon
contains sulphites

Aperitiv or Digistiv wine – made according to an old family recipe of the Touma family;

Price: 14.99 euros ,

(Price per liter: € 19.98)

Chateau Heritage, Family Reserve 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah;
12 months oak barrel (new barrels);
2015 vintage
Chateau Heritage Winery, Kab Elias, Lebanon
contains sulphites

0.75 l bottle;
14.5% vol .;

Ruby red color; intense and spicy bouquet; youthful but with depth; Hints of liquorice, cinnamon and dried fruits;
full-bodied wine;

Price: 38 euros
(Price per liter: € 50.67)

Chateau Heritage, Chateau 2017

40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 60% Syrah;
12 months oak barrel (2nd use);
Vintage 2017
Chateau Heritage Winery, Kab Elias, Lebanon
contains sulphites

0.75 l bottle;
14.5% vol .;

Dark red color; Aromas of truffles, caramel and forest fruits;

Price: 24.00 euros

(Price per liter: 32, – €)

Chateau Heritage 9

Year 2019
An extraordinary and excellent cuvèe from the nine red wine grapes that are grown in the Bekaa plain, a tribute to the fertile plateau of Lebanon: Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Merlot, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc and Mouvèdre.

Contains sulphites
0.75 l bottle
13.5% vol.

The grapes of the Cinsault give the wine its warmth and softness, the Cabernet Sauvignon gives it structure, color and freshness. The six other grape varieties, used discreetly, take on the role of “salt and pepper”. All in all, a wine from which you can find ripe plums, fruits and possibly a slight note of tobacco.

Price: 9.90

(Price per liter: 13.20 euros)

Chateau Heritage Blanc de Blancs 2019

Cuveè made from 50% Viognier, 35% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Chardonnay and 5% Muscat;
Year 2019
Chateau Heritage Winery, Kab Elias, Lebanon
contains sulphites

0.75 l bottle
13% vol.

Aromas of lemon, pineapple, exotic fruits;

Price: 9.90 euros

(Price per liter: € 13.20)

Chateau Heritage Plaisir du Vin 2018

Cuvèe made from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and 30% Cinsault
Vintage 2018
Chateau Heritage Winery, Kab Elias, Lebanon
contains sulphites

0.75 l bottle
13.5% vol.

Aromas of wild berries, cedar and tobacco

Price: 11.50 euros

(Price per liter: 15.33)

Chateau Heritage Syrah
Vintage 2018

Contains sulphites
0.75 l bottle
14% vol.

A perfect Syrah: Matured for six months in French oak, brilliant color, notes of plum;

Price: 13.95 euros

(Price per liter: 18.60 euros)

Chateau Heritage is actually a young winery – but with a long tradition.
In 2000 Elias Touma and his three sons Dr. Dargham Touma, Dr. Wissam Touma and Houssam Touma founded. But the family tradition goes back to 1888 when Gibran Touma, the great-grandfather of the three, founded the famous Arrak distillery.
Heritage is therefore the “youngest child” of a passion for viticulture that has now passed through four generations.
The Christian winery is located in Kab Elias, a community with approx. 55,000 inhabitants in the Zahle district, approx. 15 kilometers from the city of Zahle and approx. 45 kilometers from Beirut. The city lies at an average of 950 meters above sea level and is now the third largest city in the region after Zahle and Baalbeck.
Historically, the settlement goes back to the time of the Phoenicians, but the name was later changed to “Kaber Elias” (tomb of the prophet Elias), as it was believed that the prophet Elias was buried here. The Bible reports of the Prophet’s ascension to heaven in a fiery chariot at the point where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus later, but the tradition of the Elijah tomb has been preserved to this day, not only among Christians, but also among the majority of the Muslim residents.
During the Lebanese civil war, many Christians left Kab Elias, as they did elsewhere in Lebanon. The Touma family also had to choose to stay or leave. It was decided to stay and continue to fight and work for a presence of the Christians on the ground. In 1997, an old school building from 1932 was bought and converted into the new winery. The attempt was made to preserve the character of the original architecture in the center of Kab Elias despite all the necessary refurbishment and renovation work and alterations.
The winery is designed for a capacity of 1.2 million bottles a year. But the young winery is not that far yet. Currently around 250,000 bottles of wine are produced each year. The grapes of the red vines play a dominant role. Red wine grapes are grown and processed: Cinsault, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Syrah, Carignan, Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet-Frank. The white grapes are about: Sauvignon-Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat, Viognier and Ugni-Blanc. 20% of the grapes are grown on their own land. The majority of the grapes, however, are bought from farmers in the area with whom we have long-term contracts. Some of the vineyards from which the grapes come have been in operation for over 45 years. The grapes grow at altitudes between 900 and 1150 meters.
15 families live all year round from a permanent position at Heritage. In the months when the work in the vineyards is particularly intense, the number of employees increases to up to 50 employees through temporary contracts. During the harvest, up to 100 people work for the winery.
The winery is closely connected to the local Orthodox Church and has financed almost 80% of the new local church. In addition, the winery regularly supports the orphanage in Zahle.

Dargham Touma Dr. Wissam Touma
Oenologist export

Today Kab Elias is not exactly the tourist stronghold of Lebanon, but if you take your feet there, you should not miss two sights.
The ruins of Haidara
A rock ruin from the time of Roman rule in Syria and Lebanon. Tradition reports that once from this rock face an oversized mirror directed the sunlight into the place. This tradition is possibly in connection with the dignity of Varius Avitus Bassianus, better known as Elagabal, who installed a particularly intensive sun cult in Rome. The emperor himself had Syrian roots: his grandfather was the priest of the god Elagabal, who was worshiped there in Homs. He was passionate about introducing the Elagabal cult as the state religion in the capital and throughout the empire; all Roman gods were assigned a subordinate function compared to the Syrian sun god.
The ruins of the castle of Fakhr ed Din II.
This ruin now adorns the logo of the city of Kab Elias. Emir Fakhr-ed-Din ibn Maan was alternating from 16th to 17th century an important Druze prince and one of the first leaders of the emirate in the Chouf, an independent political figure within the Ottoman Empire. His power, size and popularity were a great thorn in the side of the Sublime Porte in Istanbul, which is why an army of 50,000 men was deployed against him in 1613. The emir, shaped by longstanding relationships with Italy, decided to go into exile in Tuscany. In 1618 he was allowed to return, which he quickly used to rebuild and expand his old power constellations. The introduction of the first printing press in Lebanon by the young Maronite order and the settlement of the Jesuits in Lebanon, to whom we owe the Ksara winery in Lebanon, go back to him. You may be familiar with other fortress ruins of Fakhr ed-Din: the castle in Palmyra and its rock fortress on Mount Arbel on the Sea of Galilee.

The Prophet Elias

Contrary to the biblical tradition, Kab Elias adheres to the tradition that the prophet Elias is supposed to be buried in this place.

2 Kings 11:12: “And as they were walking together and talking, behold, a fiery chariot with fiery horses came, and they separated the two from one another. And Elijah went to heaven in the weather. But Elisha saw it and cried: My father, my father, you chariot of Israel and his team! And saw him no more. “

The prophet Elijah appeared during the reigns of kings Ahab and Ahaziah in the second quarter of the 9th century BC. In the northern kingdom of Israel. Elijah can be assigned to the type of the institutionally unbound, wandering individual prophet: Following the traditions, he lived on what he found in nature or was granted to him by well-meaning persons, without a permanent residence on the edge of society, from which he also distinguished himself through his Clothes, a shaggy fur coat and a leather loincloth, made a difference. With regard to the work of the historical Elijah, it can be concluded from the traditions with some probability that Elijah, in his time, as a rainmaker equipped with mantic and magical abilities, lured rain in, but also prevented it through magic (oath magic, black magic) could. His victory over the Baal priests is famous, which is presented in detail in 1. Kings with prehistory. There are also some other biblical accounts about him that are well known: his stay at Horeb and his story about the Nabots vineyard.
Through his ascension in the chariot he becomes one of the three people without a grave – together with Moses, whose grave is still unknown to this day, and Jesus, whose grave is empty. That is why it is also Moses and Elias who appear on the Mount of Transfiguration (Tabor) as the two witnesses for Jesus who are significant in judgment and before his disciples.
Elias played an important role in Judaism from an early age and his return is expected. That is why it can happen that people at the time of Jesus consider him to be Elijah who has returned. Even today in traditional families on Seder evening in the context of Passover a chair is kept free at the table for the prophet who might come again.

The tradition in Kab Elias received great nourishment about 200 years ago when a deadly virus made Lebanon unsafe and killed many people in those days. The residents of Kab Elias are still convinced today that only their firm trust in the prophet Elias, their requests and prayers prevented a major catastrophe in the village. That is why Christians and Muslims celebrate together on July 20th each year the patron saint of the city, the prophet Elias.
In the Koran the prophet Elias (Ilyas) is mentioned in sura 6,85 as well as in sura 37,123-132. In addition, Elias plays a role as a mystical person “floating” between heaven and earth in the Islamic legend.

The Touma family
The family traditions in Lebanon go back centuries. Today’s Touma family is based on Gibran Touma, who began to grow grapes at the end of the 19th century and not only sell them as table grapes or to produce raisins from them, but also to extract the alcohol for Arrak from them. In doing so, he laid the foundation for the development of a family tradition that is closely linked to viticulture to this day. His son Tanios Touma and his four sons Rachid, Elias, Said and Fadlo followed in his footsteps. Said built up the Clos St. Thomas winery, while Elias and his sons Dargham, Wissam and Houssam founded Heritage.
Dargham studied in the USA first “Chemical Engineering” (Bachelor), then “Food and Science” (Master) and did his doctorate as an oenologist. Wissam has a doctorate in “Civil Engineering” and also works as a freelancer in his profession. In the family winery he is involved in the export sector. Houssam has completed his training in computer engineering and takes care of the financial aspects of the joint family project.
The family is closely linked to the Christian faith and the local Orthodox Church. Almost 80% of the new church in town was financed by the Touma family. The family also regularly supports the local parish in other ways. In Zahle there is a close connection to the girls’ orphanage there, which is regularly supported by annual donations as well as sponsorship of individual projects. In addition, the family is also involved in many other social projects without this being directly known in Lebanon.
The family has its very own ecclesiastical tradition, which should be reported here. Gibran Touma suffered greatly from the fact that all of his male children (until later on Tanios) only lived until they were 4 years old. They either died from illness or from accidents. Nothing happened to the girls. At that time Gibran swore that if a boy were to be given to him who was to survive the age of four, his hair, which had been uncut since birth, would be weighed in gold and this gold would be given to the nuns in Kab Elias. Since his request and hope were fulfilled, he did so and the family has since adopted this tradition. Even today, the boys in the family are not cut their hair after their birth and only after their 4th birthday is there a ceremony in the monastery where the hair is cut and weighed for the first time. The weight of the hair is passed on to the sisters in gold.