Survey study on the state of viniculture and wine production in Lebanon

R. Mohasseb, Y.N. Sassine, Z. Sebaaly, L. Kfoury, S. Kattar
Lebanon was traditionally known for its wine grape production and last decades marked an unprecedented growth of this sector. However, recent data regarding the main features of viticulture and winemaking are lacking. Therefore, an exploratory survey was conducted in 2015 using questionnaires that were addressed to wine grape growers and wineries' owners and/or managers through face to face interviews. Data collected indicated a total number of 216 vineyards covering a cultivated area of 2636.85 ha with 54 active wineries. Wine grape vineyards were mainly concentrated in West Bekaa (56%) followed by North Bekaa (26%), Central Bekaa (11%), Mount Lebanon (3%), North Lebanon (3%), South Lebanon (1%) and East Bekaa (1%). Wine grape production has been expanding toward new regions like North and South Lebanon. Cultivated wine grape cultivars were mainly noble ones. The strategy of producing high quality wines was adapted from field to winery including agricultural and industrial management techniques. The annual production capacity differed largely between wineries with 45% producing less than 20,000 bottles, 23% between producing 20,000-120,000 and 30% producing 120,000-1,000,000 bottles. Only 2% of wineries produced over 1,000000 bottles. Although wine industry was found struggling with problems of monopolization by early established wineries, however this sector benefited from a great potential with the presence of un-exploitable terroirs that are suitable for viticulture. Findings of this survey could be used as a base to draw a national strategy for the Lebanese viniculture sector.
Mohasseb, R., Sassine, Y.N., Sebaaly, Z., Kfoury, L. and Kattar, S. (2020). Survey study on the state of viniculture and wine production in Lebanon. Acta Hortic. 1276, 15-22
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1276.3
Lebanon, viticulture, vineyards, wine grape cultivars, winemaking

Acta Horticulturae