Mis à jour : 11 avr. 2018
You go along the highway towards the north and you take the exit of Adma. From there you climb and continue your way through the Kesrouane villages. You pass Ghineh, Jourt El Termos until you arrive at Ghbaleh.
In this charming village, located upstream, not far from the historical valley of Nahr Ibrahim, lies a haven of peace that you should not miss to visit: The Vineyard "Château Sainte-Andrée".
We chose Easter Monday to get there.
On site, we were warmly greeted by the owner of the domain, Mr. Paul Sacre and his wife Andrée.
It was in anticipation of their retirement that this couple of pharmacists, whose kindness is unparalleled, decided to launch this winery project in Ghbaleh.
The Domain Sainte-Andrée, which obviously bears the name of Mrs. Sacre, is today not only a beautiful wine estate, but also a wedding/event venue, along with an indoor and outdoor restaurant without forgetting the 8 guest rooms dressed in old stone and dominating the property.
The outdoor restaurant/terrace offers a panoramic view stretching from the surrounding mountains to the sea.
As for the indoor restaurant with its old stone vaults, it is ideal for cold winters.
The Sacre have also designed a beautiful wedding/event area in the dedicated summer part of the estate (upper part) which has a graceful garden and a shaded open-air restaurant and terrace.
We had planned to make a wine-tasting followed by a surprise-menu lunch. However, prior to getting on with this, a full tour of the property was necessary.
Our adorable host heads the tour telling us in detail the story of the domain and guides us through the alleys planted with great taste, the upper part & the lower part of the estate passing by the guest-houses.
Paul Sacre is passionate of what he does and so proud of his baby that he communicates this passion to you. He did not forget to introduce us to his Belgian partner Max, a Belgian shepherd ‘Malinois’, who watches, with a keen eye, night and day on the property.
Once the site tour is over, we headed to the cellar.
Paul on stage, standing behind a barrel of wine, reveals with meticulous details the wines and spirits, fruit of his production and creation, and delivers with great humor the basic principles and advices to recognize a good wine, how to choose one and how to taste it.
We are so attentive and smitten by Paul's passion that we just forgot time.
It was passed 2:00 pm when we left the cellar to go to our table, set on the Terrace.
It was sitting in a picturesque setting with an impressive view, and in front of a platter of deli and cheese, that we started tasting the wines of ‘Château Sainte-Andrée’.
First, a white wine, typical for aperitif, with a special flavor of peach. Inventive and very refreshing.
And while the homemade dishes follow each other, we went from the fruity to the dry white. A classic blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Then our palate went tasting a red wine, blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
Note that we tasted only one red wine while in fact the domain produces 4 or 5 different ones, aged 12 to 22 months in French oak casks, each one dedicated to a member of the family and bearing his name.
It is certain that we would have preferred to taste these wines before lunch to better savor their aromas and appreciate their quality at its fair value, while we could then prolong the discovery all thru lunch.
Nevertheless, we barely reached the end of a hearty meal that Paul made us discover his liquors and especially one, of which he is particularly proud, "Cédrine". A recipe composed of a multitude of herbs, plants and flowers created by our two pharmacists to produce a typical ‘Chartreuse’, Château Sainte-Andrée style.
Our visit comes to its end.
We were very touched by the generosity of our hosts, as well as their thoughtfulness and constant attention throughout the meal.
And it is with great difficulty... that we left our table to return home, imbued with the scents and landscapes of our beautiful day.
Thank you Paul and thank you Andrée for your hospitality and for your kindness.