Mis à jour : 15 mars 2018
"It is by believing in roses (Wardy) that one makes them hatch."
We were a group of 15 friends very excited to meet for a wine tour and tasting day. On our initiative, we decided to visit Domaine Wardy, located in Zahle. This choice was guided by our love for their flag wines which, thanks to their winemaker Diana Salameh, we discovered during the last "Vinifest" held at the Hippodrome of Beirut.
Arrived at 10:40 to the winery, we were welcomed by Mrs. Charly, Agronomist & Quality Manager.
Indeed, the Domain obtained the ISO 9001 - 2015 certification for the establishment of a total traceability process all the way from the vine to the sale, shipment and delivery of the wines.
Charly guided us directly to the vaulted basement where we began our visit with a short film that told the story of the Wardy family and their vineyards.
Although this is a good way to learn about the history of the Domain, the poor quality of the picture and sound were totally disappointing. We would have certainly preferred to hear this beautiful story from our hostess, failing to hear it from the owners or the winemaker.
Our main regret is that, unlike the other excellent wineries that we have visited so far, we did not feel the soul of this domain nor the passion driving the wine making. By experience, this makes a whole difference.
Nevertheless, when the movie was finished, we moved few steps to the basement’s cellar bar to start the tasting. A nice old alcove with vaulted walls.
Our hostess had already prepared the scenery, chilled the white wine and decanted the red ones.
We first started with the white wines and the ‘Clos Blanc 2016’. A blend dominated by the native grape variety Obeideh, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and a dash of Muscat. Fresh and crisp.
We then tasted the single varietal indigenous ‘Obeideh 2015’ aged in oak for 12 months and made of 100% of this grape which aroma is the proof of the richness of the Lebanese terroir.
Then was the turn of the ‘Perle du Château 2016’ a single varietal Chardonnay aged in oak for 6 months. A delight.
And we ended the white wines tasting with the ‘Private Selection White’ a blend of Muscat and Viognier that has been aged in new French oak barrels. Superb and aromatic.
The Red wines were to follow, starting by the single varietal ‘Syrah’, rich and full bodied.
Then we tasted the very well known ‘Château les Cèdres’ a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah & Merlot. A rich, complex and very well balanced red wine. Almost each vintage is a winner of a number of gold, silver or bronze medals in renown international wine competitions.
And we ended our Red wines tasting with the ‘Private Selection Red’, a blend of Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon, exclusively made from the best selection of grapes, aged in new French oak barrels for 14 months and unfiltered. Full bodied, deep color, good balance and a long finish.
The wine was dancing in our glasses all thru the tasting ceremony and the aromas were abounding.
It is said that wine loosens tongues… Everyone was intrigued by the aromas and flavors they were tasting and Charly endeavored to fill their curiosity and answer their questions...
The visit ended at the office where everyone according to their tastes, ordered and carried away crates of the wines they liked.
And that was it… The tour had to end here (Saturday the winery closes at noon). We did not have the chance and time to visit the production site and the cellars, nor the vineyards. Nevertheless, the wine discovery mission was accomplished and the good mood was at the rendezvous.
Time now for lunch, so we headed to a good Zahliote restaurant where we were served a tasty meal accompanied by a good arak… ‘Wardy’ of course!
Thank you to Domaine Wardy, and to Charly, and hope we will have the chance to visit again and do a full tour next time.