I’ve been looking forward to visiting Lebanon’s most famous wine caves (Ksara, Kefraya, Massaya, Domaine des Tourelles) for a while now and i started off by visiting Chateau Ksara, the oldest Lebanese wine (Since 1857) and one of its tastiest ones as well.
The road to Ksara was truly exhausting, specially going through Dahr el Baydar road, one of Lebanon’s most dangerous and packed roads. I recommend whomever is planning on going there to leave in the early morning, before 9 am.
Once we got to Zahle’s entrance, Ksara was on our right. I always imagined it as an isolated place inside the Beqaa valley, i never thought i’d find it that easily and in a relatively crowded and poor area, which is kind of dissapointing. it turns out Kefraya and Massaya are the distant ones inside the Beqaa valley.
We were welcomed by Ksara hostesses and invited to join the tour that includes a 10 minutes documentary film about Ksara, then a visit to the caves before doing some wine tasting.
The documentary was informative and short. The caves were very old and nice, they consist of ruins found by the Jesuite Fathers in the 19th century and are well maintained as you can see in the pics below.
Finally, we were invited to taste some of Ksara’s various wines ( Vin Blanc (Chardonnay), Vin Rose (Gris de Gris) and Vin Rouge (Reserve du couvent)). If interested, we could buy some bottles from the Ksara shop at prices much cheaper than the market.
Overall, it was a nice trip and a new experience but a very short one, you don’t need to plan a whole day for it. The whole visit (documentary + caves visit + wine tasting + wine shopping) barely lasted two hours. There are no other activities to do up there nor a restaurant, just some snacks and a bar.
I am looking forward to visiting Kefraya and Massaya and see if they are any better and more entertaining.
I’d skip Kefraya (purely for political reasons).
Make sure you check out Chateau Musar in Ghazir – by far the best wine in Lebanon and their ‘caves’ are just as interesting as any others.
Ksara isn’t a poor area!
Looking forward the the other winery visits 🙂
I would love to go visit Ksara, do I need to know someone there in order to visit? or just drop by randomely?
I visited Ksara in early July and found it very entertaining. It is a very professional operation and the wines are extremely high quality. Zahle is actually a very interesting town with some nice cafes near the river. Its also a logical stop on the way back from a trip to Baalbek which makes a perfect full day from Beirut.