Art & Wine

Château l’Hospitalet

Gérard Bertrand’s domain is impressive as much for the quality of his wines as to the work that was accomplished. Renown and well-known, the G. Bertrand brand is the reference of Languedoc’s renewal. The Autrement rouge variety ADC Côteaux du Languedoc fills out the mouth and ends on a note of vivacity and aromas of leather, liquorice and spice. The Cigalus Blanc Vin de Pays d’Oc is a great white wine with an intense perfume of citrus fruit, peach, honey and dried fruit. Gerard Bertrand, child of the region, man of wine and rugby, bought the Hospitalet with 80 hectares of vines and 11,000 of garrigues in 2002. Vines show up ad infinitum in the chalky, dry and sunny monastic décor of la Clape. A small island occupied 25 centuries ago by the Phoenicians and Greeks, baptized by the Romans “Insula Laci” that might be the cradle of the vine in Gaul. Vermentine, grenache blanc, syrah and mourvèdre bloom in bourboulenc, an historical variety. Hôtel, restaurant and stores complete the domain, with a contemporary winery and an underground cellar containing 2,000 barrels. Hospitality is an art to be cultivated; with the tramontane blows a wind of creativity: Art festival, jazz concerts, encounters around the truffle, wine harvests. Something is always happening at the castle.

Château Coupe Roses

A former garaged transformed into tasting cellar and Art gallery. Are the Coupe Roses wines called garage wines? They are actually quality wines. Françoise Frissant-leCalvez and Pascal treat the vine with respect, insisting on organic products, and the harvest is done by hand. In the country of vine, olive trees and honey, the vines planted on Causses pebbles, produce generous wines - somewhat irreverent, like Françoise, or poetic, like her husband Pascal. The white vintage 100% roussanne, raised on schists, contains a slight quantity of minerals. The Minervois Granaxa, 90% grenache on a base of prunes, coffee and chocolate, asserts itself as a good company for poultry. These are totemistic wines. A large part of the production oriented towards export is more than successful in China. Worthy heiress of a whole line of winemakers, Françoise is the ambassador of charm for Minervois. La Caunette is a departure point for the great Minervois roads. Still to be discovered.

Doffo Winery

Doffo Winery. The red wines from this family owned winery specialized in reds produces a beautiful Cabernet franc with exceptionally soft tannins for this grape varietal. But you can also admire the small, yet compelling, motorcycle collection. Art is in the air quite literally as classical music is playing 24/7 in the vineyards! 36083 Summitville rd., Temecula, Tel.: + 1 951 676-6989.

Domaine Puech Haut

Domaine Puech Haut

How does the spirit of wine comes to an industrialist? It happened to Gérard Bru. Gérard, a witty man, entrusted his roots and his destiny to Saint-Drezéry with the faith of a “new generation” wine grower. Stone upon stone, creating from nothingness, he built and signed the history of his vineyard and his domain. A domain where the art of winemaking and Art go hand in hand. Recuperation of historic stones for his house, venerable vine stalks for his vineyard - Gérard has become the ancestor of modernity. Nothing stops him, everything stimulates him. His crest, a ram’s head in stone, is reproduced ad infinitum in the winemaking plant and engraved on bottles and labels. The casks support creativity. Di Rosa, Jean-Paul Bocaj or Chantal Thomas sign their work on the wood. And what about the wine? Well, I swear, the elegance of the bottle of rosée cuvée Prestige 2012 is in perfect equation with the house.

Domaine de Perdiguier

The powerful round towers come into view above the vines A “Monument Historique”, the castle bears witness to the pomp of the feudal era, at the time of Jean Perdriguier, king’s treasurer. Laure and Pauline Feracci and their mother Christine carefully preserve the inheritance that was transmitted through the women. Where art and wine meet, viticulture and agriculture are accompanied by cultural activities. The new cuvée Les Filles de Perdiguier 2001 whose label was created by the Canadian Pierre Corneudet, reveals fresh and subtle aromas of plums and currants, cooled by sweet almonds - a different, very feminine wine. Guided visit of “trompe-l’oeil” frescoes painted on the ceiling in the 17th century and inside the tower. Courtyards and cellar of the castle are open to the public.

Poets, painters and wine growers are bringing together the Art and Wine to their creations. Today, vineyards celebrate the art of wine with the combination of contemporary art. Explore different exhibition and cultural events that allow you to enjoy paintings, sculptures, ephemeral gardens while having a glass of wine. And also discover futuristic cellars that serve as the backdrop for wines from different estate vineyards.

California > Central Coast

Niner Wine Estates

Niner Wine Estates. Producing exceptional wines by combining the best of traditional methods with cutting edge technology. Owned by Richard and Pam Niner, the winemaker is Amanda Cramer, who has a maths degree and takes a scientific, logical approach to making wine. There is as little intervention as possible, and the resulting wines have excellent varietal character, fruit expression, structure, balance and elegance. The state of the art winery is gravity fed, full of natural light, energy efficient and environmentally conscious. The Niner Sauvignon Blanc is refreshing, creamy and with hints of kiwi, green apple and lemongrass. The crisp and mineral characteristics match it well with seafood. There’s an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, with classic, herbal notes and great depth and Niner’s flagship Bordeaux blend – Fog Catcher, which is complex, big and rich. The beautiful tasting room is housed in an Italian-style stone barn, with an elegant bronze tasting bar and views over the vines. Outside, there are sculptures on display, part of a series of featured artists changing throughout the year. Open daily 10-5. 2400 Highway 46 West, Paso Robles.

Salisbury Vineyards

Salisbury Vineyards. The taasting room is housed in a century old schoolhouse, where visitors can enjoy the wines whilst perusing the Salisbury Fine Art Gallery. The gallery showcases emerging artists and sculptors, and the exhibitions are changed every 8 weeks. Wines include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Albarino from the maritime climate of the Avila Valley, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel grown by family in Paso Robles. Open daily Mon-Thus 12-5, Fri-Sun 11-6. 6985 Ontario Road, San Luis Obispo.

California > Gold Country and Lodi

Berghold Estate Winery

Berghold Estate Winery. The Berghold Family has been growing grapes in Lodi since 1986. Today, the estate includes 85 acres of Syrah, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel. Joe and Kay Berghold are collectors at heart. They have an extensive collection of American Victorian antiques, built up over several decades, and with this they have built an architecturally unique winery and tasting room to house the collection. Their son Miles is the winemaker, and all Berghold wines are estate vintages, terroir driven and made using artisan techniques combined with state of the art technology. The Berghold winery produces only 5000 cases of barrel aged wines annually. The full-bodied Crank Case red blend is superb and the perfect accompaniment to a serious meal, perhaps roast beef or Christmas dinner. The Viognier is also excellent. The main entrance to the winery features a pair of ten foot carved cherry doors originally from a Victorian mansion in Philidelphia. More than sixty solid wooden cabriole corbels, actually the legs of antique Victorian grand pianos, accent the building’s roofline. Inside, the winery is filled with one of the largest collections of fine American Victorian antiques in the US. There’s the 26 foot mahogany Eastlake bar in the Tasting Room, a 26 foot Louise XIV Oak bar in the barrel room, and a 13 foot gilded tower clock alongside beautiful armoires, tables and chests. At the centre of the Tasting Room sits a 1918 Charles Stieff concert grand piano, beneath a chandelier from 1890 from the Paramount Theatre in New York. Other fine art includes a Currean marble statue of a nude against a sail from the Paris World Fair in 1885, a collection of Italian Victorian marble busts and a Tiffany stained glass window. Open Thur-Sun 11-5. 17343 N Cherry Road.

Charles Spinetta Winery & Wildlife Art Gallery

Charles Spinetta Winery & Wildlife Art Gallery. Offering Barbera, Chenin Blanc, Petite Sirah, Primitivo, Zinfandel and rare, aged Amador County Wines. There is also a wildlife art gallery, containing hundreds of pieces in the 3,000 square foot gallery. There are paintings, wood and soapstone sculpture, raku ceramics and multimedia artwork. Open Thurs-Mon. 12557 Steiner Road.

California > North Coast - Napa Valley

Clos Pegase

Clos Pegase. Housed in an award-winning Postmodern structure, this winery features an extensive collection of modern art, including a Henry Moore sculpture of Gaia. Wine includes Cabernet, Merlot and Petite Syrah port. Open daily, self-guided or guided tours available. 1060 Dunaweal Lane, Tel.: +1 707 942 4981.

France > Beaujolais

Chateau Buffavent

Château de Buffavent. The Chilliet family, owners of the estate, which dates back to the sixteenth century, are inventors in Prevert’s sense of the word. Denis is a wine grower, Marie-Agnès is a wine grower and the lady of the house (some other member cooks and the other one paints and sculpts... The visitor is fulfilled. The wines are just as fulfilling, 20 hectares of Beaujolais from the Pierres Dorées and a range of great award-winning Beaujolais wines. Visits of the vines and the wine store punctuated with sculptures and small meals with “mâchons” by appointment. On top of that, they just opened a charming bed & breakfast with rooms overlooking the vineyards. Tel: +33 (0)9 52 78 50 50 or +33 (0)6 07 23 67 93

Domain of chapelle of Vâtre

Domaine de la Chapelle de Vâtre. A Belgian native, Dominique Capart arrived in the Beaujolais region in 1996. A newcomer adopted and voted in as president of the Inter Beaujolais association. Dominique has entrusted the work on his vines and the elaboration of his Beaujolais to a cellar master. Seven hectares, three colours and an Allys vintage created from vines that were planted in 1936. His wife had been looking for a space, both beautiful and vast, to show off her art collection. The seventeenth century country house with its twelfth century Roman chapel was taken over by Art and Wine. The labels for the bottles were created by artists as well as by some of the children in the family. The vats have been installed in modern cellars and exhibitions by renowned contemporary artists take place in the chapel. Visits by appointments. Tel: +33 (0)4 74 04 43 57

France > Bordelais

Fombrauge Castle

Château de Fombrauge. The seventeenth century monastery was originally the Cistercian monks’ cloister. Their vineyards would stretch over the three villages of Saint Christophe de Bardes, Saint-Étienne de Lisse and Saint Hippolyte. Since 1999, the Château Fombrauge and its wine estate has been under the ownership of Bernard Magrez, owner of many wine estates throughout the world. Four blends, each with a unique typicity, are produced on the estate, including the Château Fombrauge Saint-Émilion Grand Cru and an AOC Bordeaux white assembled from sauvignon blanc, sauvignon gris and semillion grapes. The Château de Fombrauge also prides itself on hosting artists and musicians in residency. A patronage insisted upon by Bernard Magrez to contribute to the discovery of rising stars. The estate has just acquired a very rare Stradivarius violin, only 500 of which remain throughout the world. Visits of the vats, the archaeological museum and the French landscaped gardens. Visits and tastings are also organised around themes and are by appointment.


Cheval Blanc Castle

Château Cheval Blanc. Owned by LVMH, the latest big event at the estate, other than its excellent 100 Parker score, has been the unveiling of the new wine store. A canopy of white moulded cement that stretches out over the vineyards and covers 52 cement tanks. This marvel designed by Christian Portzamparc makes for a spectacular setting for the venerable Cheval Blanc wines. Pierre Lurton runs the estate with a rigorous and strong environmental and ecological conscience, which doesn’t however exclude innovation and Art with a capital “A”. The Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Émilion is smart and sober like a pashmina. The blend’s uniqueness is the high ratio of cabernet franc in its assembly. A grape variety that brings a cover of freshness to the merlot and enables it to travel well through time. A wine that should absolutely be put down, Cheval Blanc is an invitation to future tastings. Visits by appointment.

The Winery Philippe Raoux

La Winery Philippe Raoux. The owner of the Blue Wine Stores from Château d’Arsac, had wanted to showcase his Médoc and other wines by erecting an interactive and contemporary living space. The Winery, set over 12,000 square metres, was designed by the architect Patrick Hernandez in 26 hectares of grounds, and centres around Grape-Picker’s square. It is an innovating and challenging space where the revered Médoc wines flirt with art and design. The public is witness to all this, initiating themselves, learning, tasting and making educated choices. The piazza is dedicated to shows, concerts and exhibitions. You can mix with the owners during the themed dinners leading you to discover the great vintages... One of those true wine tourism concepts we love.

Smith-Haut-Lafitte Castle

Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte. The perfect combination of water and wine with its wine estate Grand Cru Graves classé and the Caudalie Springs. The family estate’s vineyards are around the château, just a few steps away. It was in the eighteenth century that the Scotsman George Smith undertook the winemaking development of the estate and started exporting the wine to England. Smith-Haut-Laffite thus acquired a good reputation. Daniel Cathiard, an elite sportsman, and his wife Florence, fell in love with this prestigious estate and its subterranean wine stores. They acquired it in 1990 to make ‘marvelous local wines’ of which a Graves Grand Cru Classé AOC Pessac-Léognan. The vineyards, which crown the property, are dotted with works of art. A hare by the sculptor Barry Flanagan runs in between the vines, the Venus by Jim Dine emerges above the leaves. The Man by Mimmo Paladino takes pride of place in the courtyard. Visits every day by appointment with tasting, discovery of the vats, the subterranean wine store, the cooperage, the Orangery and the “Paradis” a cellar where the vintages are preserved. Tel.: +33 5 57 83 11 22

France > Burgundy

Chasselas’ Castle

Château de Chasselas. Organised around a vast interior courtyard, the magnificent wine making property has been set up in buildings from the fourteenth through to the eighteenth centuries, overseen by three watch turrets. The outbuildings, Dove cot, barn, wine makers’ houses and orchard are ideal for receptions and events. The owners, hailing from a long line of wine makers and art collectors enjoy mixing the pleasure of wine with that of hosting admirably. They organise concerts, theatrical evenings, and sculpture and painting exhibitions throughout their estate and also have guest rooms at the château. At the 2011 Independent Wine maker’s competition, the Saint-Véran 2009 Premium blend won a silver medal as did the Crémant de Bourgogne. Whereas the Saint-Véran Thetys, an exceptional vintage with hints of toasted bread, crystallized and wild fruit, was rewarded by the Michelin Guide.

Philippe Leclerc’s vineyard

Philippe Leclerc's vineyard. Philippe has inherited a precious winemaking estate from his ancestors. Vineyards, which he works with respect: Chambolle-Musigny, Gevrey-Chambertin. Generic Burgundies, the Bons Bâtons, a blend, which has all the greatness of a Chambolle-Musigny, a wine it has aged next to. The Gevrey-Chambertin first growth and the Combe aux Moines, velvety and very complex, deserve to be put down for ten years or so. Wines he lets mature lovingly, overseeing them like children, and which make it worth his while. A very Rock’n Roll winemaker who has bought himself a copy of Henry Fonda’s chopper, not forgetting his 1980 Ferrari Excalibur. A slightly mad artist, who has transformed his house, in the middle of the village, into a work of art, a gothic cavern, a Dali house. Philippe likes creating sculptures, strange characters - a mix between demons and angels. His very own dream world that he willingly shows off to his visitors. Rue des Halles. Tel.: +33 3 80 34 30 72

Pommard’s Castle

Château de Pommard. A prestigious name in the wine world and the largest private vineyard in Burgundy, where the art of receiving has been passed down since the seventeeth century. A different world, where for the past three centuries ,wine is a religion and bottles and oak casks rest and age. A trip to the cellars is a tribute to pinot noir. Pommard is also an international art and culture centre. In the gallery: Pop Art, Dali sculptures, works both conceptual and out of doors, sculptures soaring to the sky on a background of vineyard.

France > Champagne

Vankren Pommery’s house

The Vranken-Pommery House: 116 steps lead to 18 KM of limestone ancient caves and galleries not only dedicated to champagne flasks but also to famous artists exhibiting contemporary art. A very impressive journey through vintage bottles is offered : a modern and avant-garde way to wander round the galleries.    

Nicola Feuillate

Nicolas Feuillate. As you enter Epernay, a city of modern architecture, the Nicolas Feuillatte Wine Center likes to propose «a different way to consider and drink champagne». Strongly settled in the aera, this center was created by and for the champagne producers and is the largest cooperative union in the region with their common credo «go along with the sustainable development while maintaining the traditional know-how». Nicolas Feuillatte also stands at the top 50 of the contemporary and creative Art. You may have seen London’s «Black Cabs» displaying the Feuillatte logo on their doors. Each year, various artists are selected to illustrate the new vintage wine, as well as exhibits or special prestigious events taking place year-round…

A must : a black and golden flask named «Palme d’Or», a divine tribute to a wonderful opera singer inspired by Nicolas himself. Divine indeed, but very discreet as he never revealed her name.

France > Loire Valley

Du Rivau Castle

Château du Rivau. A space full of magic, poetry, madly creative, an imaginary museum outdoors. The garden’s layout is inspired by legends and fairy tales. Modern art mingles with expansive vegetation. 14 classified “remarkable gardens” with a collection of over 450 different varieties of perfumed roses and essences, the colours of which flourish at the rhythm of the seasons. The journey is signposted with pieces of art: Lilian Bourgeat’s oversized boots, Basserode’s giant legs run in between the trees. After the Rain, Nicole Tran Ba Vang’s Saké glass sits among the vegetation and collects water from the sky... The Château is no exception. Owned by Eric and Patricia Laigneau, it once hosted Joan of Arc and her fellow comrades in arms. Rabelais cited Riveau in Gargantua. The Cardinal of Richelieu, whose sister was married to the master of the house, spared the château from being dismantled. Collections of antiques, period furniture and hunting trophies share the space with works by contemporary artists of world fame.

Bouvet-Ladubay Cellars

Les Caves Bouvet-Ladubay. Created in 1851 by Etienne Bouvet, the establishment has since become the leader in export of Saumur Brut wine. The origin of the cellars dug out of freestone goes back to the time of Saint Florent and Foulque Nera in 1025. Eight kilometres of galleries running under the Abbey of Saint Hilaire show fragments of monuments carved out of the stone thousands of years ago.

35 sculptures by the artist Philipe Cormand have been added to this engulfed cathedral without forgetting the precious bottles of which the Ogimus 2007 vintage, a sophisticated blend of chenin and chardonnay. Another very IT vintage, is the Taille Princesse, a blend carried out by the actor Gérard Depardieu and the president of Bouvet, Patrice Monmouseau, giving a fine wine, with fine bubbles, liberating the fruit of the vine.

France > Provence

Château La Coste

Domaine Château La Coste. A monumental estate: the reception hall was designed by Tadao Ando, the wine story by Jean Nouvel, the bandstand by Frank Gehry, the pavillions by Jean Prouvé... The names of these great architects are complements by those of great artists: Alexander Calder, Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, etc. The surrounding estate serves to remind us of the place’s primary function: Vines! Organically and bio-dynamically grown, the vineyard stretches across 122 hectares of hillsides, from which one can see snow covered crests of the Alps on a clear day. In the coming years, other pieces will be added, this time by Renzo Piano or Oscar Niemeyer, as well as a luxury hotel. Tickets need to be purchased for visits; 2750 Route de la Cride, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade; Tel.: +33 4 42 61 92 90.

La Commanderie de Peyrassol Vineyard

Domaine La Commanderie de Peyrassol. As if appearing from the middle of nowhere, the Commanderie de Peyrassol is like nothing you’ll have seen before. First of all, because it reveals itself like a well kept secret, at the end of a windy and bumpy road. Then, because the aura of the time of the Templars, founders of the place in the XIIIth century, still reigns there. Finally, because once it was taken over in 2001 by Philippe Austruy, an art connoisseur, the hamlet’s perfectly renovated buildings are surrounded by stunning contemporary works of art, signed by Arman, Cesar or Tapiès amongst others. To prolong the moment, a large table d’hôte is open during the summer, orchestrated by a young chef. RN7, 83 340 Flassans-Sur-Issole. Tel.: 04 94 69 71 02.

Dalmeran Vineyard

Domaine Dalmeran. Ultra chic, super design and arty: this magical place was taken over by a young couple with a passion for art and food in 2006. On the wall of the XVth century vaulted cellar, the words «Une vigne épouse un château» ("A vine embraces a château") are displayed in watermark; words that are the driving theme of everything around. On the programme: monumental works of art in the garden, with sculpted trees by Marc Nucera, year round art exhibitions, summer jazz concerts, cookery classes and even a cookery competition that brings together the greatest chefs in the region. This competition is unique in that it takes wines as sources of inspiration for the dishes, and not the other way round! Another surprising feature: traditional harvesting, in full costume, are organised on one of the plots on the estates. Another curiosity that must be seen: a vegetable garden inspired by medieval models designed by the artist Blaise Cayol. Finally, at the top of the estate, the XIIth century Notre-Dame-du-Château chapel, that makes for a nice walk. 45 avenue Notre Dame du Château, 13 103 Saint-Etienne-du-Grès; Tel.: +33 4 90 49 04 04.

Château Sainte-Roseline Vineyard

Domaine Château Sainte-Roseline. This exceptional classified vintage possesses a site, also classified, of outstanding beauty: an old XIVth century abbey, where the bishops of Fréjus would come to stay, a XIIth century cloister and a park with centenary plane trees. The relics of Sainte-Roseline are preserved in a chapel along with several more recent treasures: a mosaic of the artist Marc Chagall, representing the meal of the angels, and a bronze bas-relief by Alberto Giacometti. Exhibitions, events, tastings, wine tasting workshops: the estate offers a rich and varied programme all year long. 83 460 Les Arcs-sur-Argens. Tél.: 04 94 99 50 30.

France > Rhône Valley

Les Hospices de Gigondas

The Gigondas hospice. The château and its fortifications were built in the XIIIth century. From the origin, it was dedicated to welcoming the poor and sick. The Saint Calvaire and Saint Sépulcre friary became a pilgrimage destination, famous throughout the Dauphiné region.

In 1984, the town hall saved the abandoned site and redeveloped it. From 1994, this high medieval village expresses itself through a route with monumental works of art by highly respected French and foreign artists. A marvellous fleeting architectural open sky scene managed and renewed every year thanks to the talent of its young curator, Dominique Bonsignori. During the warmer months, it is the setting for wine and musical events. Tel.: 04 90 65 80 76.

France > South West

Jurançon wines’ house

La Maison des Vins du Jurançon. Opposite the Commanderie, the very dynamic Maison des Vins is dedicated to the wines of the South-West. It brings together 65 independent winemakers and showcases over 140 carefully selected excellent vintages. Blending food and wine, tastings of wine and local produce are friendly occasions led by wine experts. Each time, three to four vintages are chosen and introduced by the winemaker. Tasting workshops by appointment. The Maison des Vins supports Art initiatives at the Commanderie of Lacommande. Tel.: +33 5 59 82 70 30

Domain Haute Serre

Domaine Haute Serre. The highly contemporary interior architecture of the wine stores is the new showcase for the wines of the Domaine. The vast space, with its reception area, tasting room, shop and restaurant, allows for a combination of wine tourism activities and also hosts contemporary art exhibitions. The abstracts by the painter André Nouyrit, who lives in the Lot, take pride of place there. At the end of October, the “Composites Nights” are musical and visual art evenings open to the public. An elegant and cultural way to discover the Haute Serre’s cahors malbec wine.

Château Touny les Roses

Château Touny les Roses. Jardins à la française, cour d’honneur, l’ancienne et belle demeure du poète gaillacois Touny Brys est un domaine viticole depuis 200 ans. Sur la rive gauche du Tarn, le château entouré de ses 3 parcelles en cépage duras, braucol et syrah produit des vins rouge et rosé en AOC Gaillac. Assemblage des trois cépages, la cuvée Théa est élevée en cuve et celle du Poète en fut de chêne. Le rosé de saignée composé de duras et syrah apporte une fraîcheur toute fruitée, bonbon et framboise. Le propriétaire du domaine Thierry Bosschaert et son épouse ont aménagé dans le domaine un gite et des suites d’exceptions avec piscine et table d’hôtes. Une décoration très arty dans un cadre XVIIIe siècle dont une suite inspirée par les œuvres du peintre Mondrian. C’est le beau mariage du contemporain et du vin. Tel : 05 63 57 90 90.

Lebanon > Bekaa Valley

Château Khoury

Château Khoury. The Khoury family once took the ambitious bet to go into winemaking, only to become the region’s «little favourite» just a few years later. A recent graduate from Reims university in France, 30 year old Jean-Paul Khoury talks about his grape varieties just as he manipulates them: in his own way! A captivating speech that makes for a rather extraordinary visit and surprising tastings. On the menu, two white wines (one dry, one sweet) and three reds (and soon a fourth) including the Symphonie, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, syrah and merlot, full of character, branded with the colours of a painting by the Lebanese artist, Rita Massoyan Yédalian. Château Khoury, Dhour Zahlé, Tel.: +961 3 075422,

Chateau Ksara

Château Ksara. The oldest estate in the Bekaa valley, the Château Ksara will celebrate its 150th anniversary this year. This nice looking estate, with an arrangement of cement and steel vats, produced over 3 million bottles in 2011, and also has some stunning vaulted cellars, the culmination of any properly orchestrated visit to the vineyards of the Bekaa valley. A history and a patina that set the basis for French oenologist James Palge to direct his twenty or so grape varieties such one would an orchestra into three very distinct wine ranges. For his prestige blend – the Third Millenium blend – Ksara has picked a detail out of Veronese’s painting, The Marriage of Cana, that celebrates in full pomp, the fastuous marriage at which generous quantities of wines and dishes are served. Château Ksara, Zahlé, +961 8 801 662,

Kefraya Estate

Kefraya Estate. A superb 430 hectare estate that looks its best on a beautiful spring day during a walk through its three parks: the Rossini, Puccini and Verdi. In summer you can shelter from the sun by popping into the estate’s beautiful house. Château Kefraya is a magnificent vineyard with many aspects to it: cellars, vineyards, a restaurant serving foods and wines that are in season. Add to that Michel de Bustros, the estate owner’s real passion for opera and you’ll immediately understand why the atmosphere here is so peaceful. The Blanc de Blanc wines are each named after a different opera and the bottles of red wine are adorned with an original painting by a local artist. A nice philanthropic gesture that goes a long way. Château Kefraya, Bekaa Ouest, Tel.: +961 8 645 333,