|Domaines des Tourelles
François-Eugène Brun, who came from France, fell in love with this area of the Bekaa Valley where he set up the first winery in Lebanon in 1868.
Recruited at first by a French company in charge of the works for the Beirut-Damascus road, François-Eugène Brun succeeded in making his dream come true by producing wine and Arak. This is when Domaine des Tourelles was born. After François-Eugène, there were Louis Brun, then Pierre Brun. Three generations of wine lovers, of Bekaa lovers and Lebanon lovers. 150 years of passion for the wine and the land.
Today more than 150 years since it was established, Domaine des Tourelles is run by the next generation of the Issa & Issa el Khoury families – making it the country’s youngest winemaking team running the country’s oldest winery.
Domaine des Tourelles farms close to 50 ha of vineyards, most of which are located in the village of Ammik in the Western Bekaa, while two other plots, in the villages of Jdita and Taanayel are in the central Bekaa Valley.
Some of the vineyards are owned outright by the winery while others are under long-term contracts. Vines are typically free-standing bush, with a few trellised vineyards surrounding the property. These vineyards boast some of the oldest vines in the valley, reaching up to 70 years in some cases.
These are some of the highest altitude vineyards in the Northern Hemisphere at 1,050 m above sea level. Benefiting from 240 days of reliable sunshine and the dry climate in the Bekaa where most fungal diseases are not a real threat, all grapes are grown organically.
Soils: Iron-rich gravel and limestone soils with clay sub-soils. Vineyards: Dry farmed (no irrigation). Farming: 50 ha of vines some owned, others under long-term contracts for 25 and 30 years. Practices: Treated organically, only sulfur and copper are used when needed. Age of Vines: Own some of the oldest vines in the Bekaa, some of which are more than 70 years old, giving extremely low yield. Training: Mostly bush, some trellised vineyards by the house for aesthetic purposes. Harvest: Manual selection is made in the vineyards then again at the winery.
Run and directed by one of the few Lebanese winemakers – the young Faouzi E. Issa who is also co-owner of the Property. The winemaking philosophy at Domaine des Tourelles relies on a self-sustained process witnessing minimal intervention and allowing hence the production of naturally organic and vegan wines.