There are Roman or Phoenician divinities that bring inspiration and creativity to the protagonists. Among these names to borrow from history, Sébastien Khoury young oenologist and winemaker, chose "Baal", the god of atmospheric forces and fertility, to name his domain.
For Sébastien, the love of wine is a family cult. His father planted the first vines in 1994. In reality he had bought the land (of 1150m²) in the 60s in order to create an ecological real estate project, which was then dropped during the Lebanon war.
In 1998 Sébastien decided to create his own vineyard.
In that perspective, he went to Bordeaux in 1999, where he lived in Saint-Emilion for 7 years, to work in the world of French wines, a universe full of history and experience.
He returned home in 2006 to start his project and produce his first vintage.
This is where we decided to tour and discover wines today.
After crossing the mountainous and traditional Lebanese villages, we arrived on the heights of Zahlé. Then we took a wavy road to reach the estate, a beautiful stone construction whose vegetal roof offers a natural cooling during the summer heat.
Sebastien was waiting for our group to arrive. He greeted us on the terrace in front of his winery.
The panoramic view over Zahlé and the Bekaa Valley is breathtaking.
We spent few very interesting minutes learning about the history of this beautiful domain and of Sébastien’s personal journey so far.
With a lot of passion and a touch of shyness, he tells us his attachment to the land that drives him to produce organic quality wines, with a lot of care and respect to the environment. Being perfectionist, he adopts the Burgundy winemaking technique (fermentation with the whole grape) to optimize the extraction of aromas and give more finesse to the wine.
The domain’s production has grown from 6'000 bottles to currently reach 18'000 bottles/year with the aim of increasing it to 45'000 bottles.
With all this data in mind, we then entered the cellar where part of Domaine de Baal’s production is ageing in oak barrels. A beautiful large room with vaulted walls and a number of barrels well-disposed and conditioned where the good wine is resting.
A quick overview in admiration, then we moved to the production site where a table was set, the white wine being chilled and the red wines decanting in preparation for the tasting.
Our host introduces us to his wines and the tasting begins with the fresh and exquisite “Domaine de Baal White”: a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Then the reds followed starting by “Le petit Baal”: a blend of Merlot 60%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20% and Syrah 20%, a smooth and nice introduction to the complex and elegant “Domaine de Baal Red” which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 40%, Cabernet Franc 40%, Merlot 15% and Syrah 5%.
Three wines of very good quality, that the whole group was delighted to carry home.
In summary we were enchanted to meet Sébastien and enjoyed discovering his wines, which, since then, have their reserved place in our personal cellar.
We then left and headed to Sébastien’s cousin Jean Paul to have lunch at Château Khoury.
Thank you Sébastien for your warm welcome, the nice tour and the generous tasting and keep up the good work, we love your wines.