Natural wine from Lebanon? Get out! Look, we get that this isn't the first place that comes to mind when thinking about wine but it has definitely captured our attention. While it's not your typical origin story, winemaking in this small country squished between Israel and Syria is steeped in history and tradition - not only was a 2,600 year old wine discovered last year in the region, but there is budding evidence that wine was being made in the area that's now Lebanon for more than 6,000 years.
We have a handful of wines from two exceptional younger generation winemakers in Couvent Rouge Winery and Mersel Wines. Both are committed to regenerative farming and are on a mission to revive Lebanon's unique indigenous varietals, merwah and obeid, and push the boundaries of the natural wine scene in Lebanon. Last year they were still farming, harvesting and making wine amidst a bombing in Beruit, they have worked through a massive currency devaluation, a fuel shortage and, of course, the difficulties of the pandemic. Talk about resilient!
Couvent Rouge of Bekka Valley came about after being forced out of marijuana growing and looked to an alternate agriculture - truth. They formed a cooperative and focused on organic farming and fair-trade practices. The wines (red and white only as the rose sold out in a flash) are textural, bright and shiny. They feel super fresh. They are compelling for the uniqueness of personality, their complexity, and they gift us but delivery ultra-high drinkability.
Australian-Lebanese winemaker Eddie Chami, is part of the team behind Mersel Wines who are working from two high altitude regions - Mersel and Wadi Qannoubin - and bringing vibrant and ultra crisp pet nats (Leb nats as they call them) and a joyful apricoty skin contact number to the table.
All these wines are super approachable, easy to love and perfect to smash at your next picnic. They are absolutely made for a good time in the spring time. Plus, not only are they an utter delight to drink but you're also supporting some really good people doing really good things. We're into it.