Mis à jour : 25 janv. 2018
Wonderful estate, Splendid view, Professional winery and beautiful wines. A great discovery.
On this beautiful Sunday morning, we hit the road to meet Mr. Georges Naïm with whom we had a rendez-vous at “Kherbet Qanafar,” a village in West Bekaa located 5 km away from Lake Qaraoun.
The “Lebanese Wine Road” leading to the village is surrounded by green landscapes and lush vineyards plantations bathed by the hot summer sun. Closer to the vineyard, we met our host who was waiting for us on the way to drive us on an off-road, which lead us to the estate, a large building still partly under construction.
Mr. Naïm spent most of his work life as a chemical engineer and has chosen the lovely village of Qanafar for its fertile soil to create in 2005 his retirement project “Château Qanafar,” an ambitious family vineyard estate.
The estate is located on top of a hill offering a breathtaking panorama of an open-ended blue-sky with the Qaraoun dam on our right, and the Bekaa valley on our left ... “Paradise” on earth!
Our visit started with a deep dive into Georges’ life journey, the history of his family’s vineyard and his passion for wines.
Mr. Naim cultivates an interesting variety of grapes all the way from Cabernet Sauvignon to Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. We also learned that to optimize their maturation, and per the strict requirements of each type of vine, the vines are planted either on the slope sides of the hill at 1200m of altitude, or on the nearby Bekaa plain.
We began our visit of the ground floor, still under construction, and which is intended to become a restaurant directed by his wife, Colette. We then went downstairs to the production floor level and the cellars.
The size and modernity of the facilities were very impressive, and it was clear that the infrastructure was carefully organized. Eyes wide open, we wandered from floor to floor following our guide and discovering the stages and processes of winemaking, aging, bottling and storing.
That being done, the wine tasting ceremony could start and, with a glass in hand, we were ready for a surprising journey of discovery:
- Starting with “Blanc de Qanafar” 100% Sauvignon blanc: Limpidity and finesse of tropical fruit notes. Clear, light yellow appearance. Pleasant minerality, rich aromas, and tasty wine.
- Followed by “Eva” (named after his daughter) a 100% Viognier white wine, aged for 12 months in oak casks. It has peach aromas, floral notes, with smoke and toast from the oak. A bewitching white.
- 3rd we tried “Qanafar Rose Paradise” made exclusively from Tempranillo grapes. Floral nose interspersed with notes of cinnamon and lychee. It is an elegant Rosé wine.
- Then we started with the Reds and tried “Paradise of Qanafar,” 50% Cabernet and 50% Syrah: Notes of red fruits, blackcurrant, and spices. Good acidity. An expressive and complex ruby red wine.
- The “Château Qanafar” completed the wine tasting: 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 33% Syrah. Intense, sophisticated and refined, with opulent and elegant notes of cassis, red fruits, and oak flavors. Good acidity, full body of garnet red with a long finish. He has everything of a Grand!
Through our visit we encountered quality wines, all the reflection of a meticulous work, which combined the precision of the technique, skills, and knowledge in total respect of the nature and soil.
Georges and his son Eddy (the winemaker) lovingly surround their production, with all the attention and rigor necessary to deliver subtle, high quality and elegant wines. Congratulations to the Naïms for the wonderful work you are doing and the quality wines you are offering!
Once the wine tour and tasting finished (but not before we tried a sip of the “Anis” the arak from Qanafar), we regretfully left our host and this beautiful place, carrying with us all the perfumes and colors that we had stored during the day.
A thousand thanks to Georges for his warm welcome, the exceptional wines we tasted and this heavenly journey that we are not ready to forget.