Rooted in the history of Lebanon
The de Bustros family have lived for many generations in the plain of the West Bekaa valley. In this region of Lebanon, wine is as much part of its history as is its landscape. The famous temple of Bacchus, god of wine, is at Baalbek. As the story goes, Jesus transformed water into our favourite drink, in Cana, in the south of Lebanon.
The history of this chateau is also tragically but inextricably linked to various conflicts in Lebanon. The hill on which its castle was built in 1946 was constructed by the Romans centuries before, who used it to watch their enemies from the East. The first vines were planted in 1951 by Michel de Bustros himself, with the first wines of the estate not produced until 1979, during the Lebanese civil war. From its links to a painful history, come wines of unparalleled purity and beauty.
Grape Varieties both French and Indigenous
The beauty of this estate is down to its incredible location – in the Bekaa plain, at an altitude of over 1000 metres – but also from the variety of its soils, which form a mosaic of stony, sandy and silty clay-limestone soils. The vines fully absorb the sun’s rays and are only lightly irrigated. If though yield is quite low, with only 35 hectolitres per hectare, it results in more concentrated aromas and increased imprint of the terroir. The estate is planted on 300 hectares of various French grape varieties, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, syrah and muscatel… but it also includes wonderful native varieties, such as obeidi, meksesse and asmi noir.
“Semper Ultra”, which translates as “always higher” (for those who did not take Latin in school), is the motto of this chateau. They are indeed reaching new heights with wines produced with the utmost respect for the terroir and using traditional techniques. The château strives to offer high quality wines, following its philosophy of “one terroir, one soul, one great wine”, and has done so since its creation. A large part of the property’s plots are certified organic, while the wine is produced in the cellar and in the winery using a clever blend of tradition and modernity.
Because of the wide temperature variations in the region, the grapes are harvested by hand when they are ripe, and then drastically sorted (notably with the help of an optical sorting table) so as to keep only the most beautiful berries for the delicious nectar. During the vinification process, certain parcels are separated, in order to make the most of individual characteristics and unique aromas.
Loyal to ancient Phoenician and Roman tradition, the wine is partly matured in terracotta amphorae, while the rest of the production is matured more classically in French oak barrels.
Oenologist Fabrice Guiberteau, who joined the estate in 2006, literally fell in love with the vineyard and its wines. Since his arrival, he has continued the tradition started by Michel de Bustros, a visionary winemaker who died in 2016. The wines are works of art, blending grape varieties that produce rich, powerful wines that also reflect the unique character of each grape.
The wines of Château Kefraya are internationally acclaimed and appreciated for their aroma, which bear witness to the richness of the Bekaa and the exceptional know-how of the winemakers.