Coteaux de Botrys. Neila Bitar was enrolled at the Arts and Crafts School in Germany when her father, General Joseph Bitar, decided in 1998 to pursue his dream: become a winegrower. His four daughters watched over the venture with affection, not yet knowing they were destined to take over when their father passes away a few years later. A father who will forever look over the Bothrys vineyards that Neila cares for. Is it difficult to be a woman in the wine industry? The answer is simple. No, not in Lebanon, Neila Bitar says so with the hint of a smile. Does she ever go back to her first passion, interior design and architecture? Of course, from December to March, when the vines don’t need her, Neila travels and takes in culture and art from all the places she visits before returning to her vines; “the vineyard closest to the sea in the whole of Lebanon” as she would proudly point out. A truly magical place. www.coteauxdebotrys.com
Atibaia. In a rustic setting, a perfectly arranged collection of classic design pieces with a modern twist, Atibaia is just on the edge of a marvellous place, where you can admire the view over the region’s hilly landscape. A brand new addition, the Atibaia vineyard itself isn’t actually that new. Its first owner, Jean Massoud, who owned a few other vines in the Batroun region, would produce wine for his own pleasure and that of his close friends and family. Caught up in his own game, the idea to start commercialising his wine came to him one day and he saw his first bottles come out in late 2011: a cabernet, a syrah and a cabernet and syrah blend. Full of promise as they hit the market. He has also just put the final touches on some beautifully designed guest rooms that you will just love. Atibaia, Coteaux de Batroun, Batroun.