DOMAINE DES TOURELLES is one of the longest established and most highly acclaimed wineries in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Founded in 1868 by French adventurer François-Eugène Brun, Domaine de Tourelles was the first commercial cellar in Lebanon producing wines, arak and other spirits. In 2000, the estate was bought by descendants of Brun’s Lebanese wife, Nayla Kanaan Issa-el-Khoury and Elie F. Issa. It is run by their children, Faouzi Issa (winemaker), Christaine Issa and Emile Issa-el Khoury. This young and dynamic trio have decided to proudly apply similar artisan winemaking skills and traditions to their handcrafted wines – this includes minimum intervention in the vineyards and cellar, use of indigenous natural yeasts, no fining or filtering, and only very small amounts of sulphur. The winery boasts intelligent ancestral architectural design that keeps the ideal ambient temperature all year round, and concrete vats (a rarity in Lebanon) that provide the best biological conditions for natural winemaking processes – preserving the authentic taste of Lebanon’s terroir.
Faouzi Issa, graduated with winemaking and viticultural degrees from Bordeaux and Montpellier Universities. He then trained with René Rostaing in Cote Rôtie and at Chateau Margaux before moving back to the, by now, family winery at Domaine des Tourelles. Faouzi has secured the future of this noble estate by introducing “a few modernities here and there...” but is adamant their ancient vineyards continue to be the expression and philosophy of the estate and is proud of the winery’s strong francophile links.