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Lebanese Wines Rise in Sales Due to Conflict in the Area

The Israel - Lebanon conflict had an impact on the production and the export of wine from Lebanon. The interest for the wines produced by Lebanon increased.

Merchants that sell wine from Lebanon advise about a growing demand for the wines in the area. James Nicholson who has been selling wine from the Beqaa Valley for 20 years said that sales have gone up with about 50 per cent in the last month.

Beqaa Valley is a fertile valley in Lebanon and Syria, located about 19 miles east of Beirut. The valley is situated between the Mount Lebanon to the west and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains to the east and has a Mediterranean climate of wet, mild winters and dry, warm summers. The region receives limited rainfall, particularly in the north, because the Lebanon Mountains create a rain shadow that blocks precipitation coming from the sea. 70 percent of the country's wine producers, representing wineries such as Kefraya, Domaine Wardy, Clos St Thomas, Chateau Nakad and Almaza Beer have their wineries in this area.

During the conflict in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah the Beqaa Valley was the scene of heavy bombing. One of the wine suppliers from the area (Sammy Gosan) who runs the Messiah vineyard in the valley advises that "The harvest is gearing up and we just basically lost a month or more than a month when we usually ship our wines. We had to pray we don't get hit by mistake, but we stayed here and we looked after the wines and the winery, but we could not work, we could not take the chance of working."

Despite the problem of meeting the delivery dates for the products onto the market in such hard violent conditions, the producers have faced a certain amount of sympathetic purchase, because of the difficulties they find themselves in.

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