After visiting Ksara over a year ago, I planned a trip to Chateau Kefraya on Sunday to see if it is really as good as I heard.
I called a day before to see if I need to book or anything and I was told there’s no need to book in advance for the tour or the wine tasting, but I have to reserve a table if I want to have lunch there. Turns out they have an open buffet (Oriental food) with open wine and Arak for 45$.
The road to Chateau Kefraya is the same one you take to get to Ksara but once you reach Chtaura, you need to go deep into the Bekaa valley to reach the Chateau, which takes around 20 minutes. There are informative maps on Chateau Kefraya’s website showing you how to get there.
The road from Chtaura to the Chateau is in good shape and there are some nice landscapes to look at, specially while passing by the Ammeek village.
Once we reached Chateau Kefraya, we were given directions on where to park by security guards. We stepped down waiting for some guide to show us the way but we ended up asking the security guy. The place was much bigger than Ksara from the inside and was like a tiny village with many streets and small gardens (all with different names).
We headed to the spot indicated by the security officer and had to wait for a few minutes before some guy showed up and told us to follow him to see the caves. We had to go through the wine industry in order to reach the caves and the smells were horrible. Before going into the caves, we were shown a documentary for like 5 minutes, but it was more of an interview with the Chateau Kefraya CEO/Founder Michel De Bustros than an informative video on wine making and the Chateau’s history.
Before reaching the caves, I was expecting something similar to Ksara’s 1000+ years old caves but instead I got a boring modern room with lined up wine barrels. The guide was not saying a word and roaming around waiting for us to finish.
Disappointment continued when we went on the train ride, or what they call train and was really a tractor pulling us. No one explained to us the difference between the three rides offered and we ended up going on a lame 40 minutes trip, half of it wasted while driving to get to small vineyards. Of course there were no guides to explain anything, but instead a group of visitors laughing out loud and singing behind us.
Once we go back, there was also no one to show us where the wine tasting happens. After asking, we headed into the showroom but there was no one at the bar to serve us!
We waited a few minutes before the cashier lady served us some wine from various bottles and briefly explained the difference between them.
After that, I checked out the buffet to see if it’s worth paying 45$ and it wasn’t that bad, considering that wine and Arak are open.
All in all, I was surprised of the level of unprofessionalism at Chateau Kefraya and I would not recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about wine making and tasting. Ksara is far better in that aspect as they have professionally trained employees guiding you throughout the whole tour.
Nevertheless, it’s a great place to have lunch on a Sunday with family or friends from abroad, specially that there’s open wine and Arak.
PS: I have no clue why it’s called a Chateau as it looks more like a small villa.