Lebanon Businessnews News

New Lebanese wine
recipe inaugurated
Prepared from local Obeidy grapes
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A new wine recipe made exclusively from local ‘Obeidy’ grapes was inaugurated by local wineries for the first time today.

This recipe will be adopted by several wineries, including Domaine Wardy, Clos St. Thomas, and Chateau Musar. Clos St. Thomas will launch its new bottle OBEIDY St. Thomas on May 30.

Zafer Chaoui, President of Union Vinicole du Liban (UVL), the wine appellation board, said: “Having an indigenous grape will bring fame to the wine.”

The new recipe requires specific processes, starting from the cultivation of the obeidy grape to the production. Obeidy grapes may be planted and the process adopted by international wineries, just as Lebanon has cultivated Italian and French grapes and applied their processes to local production. “It is possible for the countries that have the same weather conditions to plant the obeidy grape,” said Chaoui.

“We consider obeidy grapes a niche for local wineries,” said Chaoui.

Salim Wardy, General Manager of Domaine Wardy, said: “We wanted to produce a wine using pure Lebanese grapes instead of European ones like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Chardonnay, to create a distinguished image for the local wine.”

Clos St. Thomas will launch 6,000 bottles made from obeidy grapes this year. Joe-Assaad Touma, Partner and oenologist, said: “The reason behind launching this kind of wine is to maintain specific kinds of grapes that distinguish each country.”

Obeidy grape is used to produce the renowned Lebanese alcohol ‘Arak’.

Domaine Wardy produced around 3,000 bottles from obeidy grapes this year. Around 60 percent is marketed locally and the rest imported to France and distributed at exhibitions. Wardy said that wine tasters are appreciating the obeidy wine.

Touma said that most of the bottles will be exported to France, Germany, Sweden, and the UK, among other European countries. He said: “Thomas’ obeidy is witnessing a large demand from these markets, as it has a different flavor from wine made from European grapes.”

The cost of obeidy wine is higher than other wines, according to Touma, because this kind of a grape is very sensitive and it loses around 40 percent of its harvest in order to produce good quality wine. Domain Wardy’s obeidy wine is priced at $26 and Clos St. Thomas’ is $15, per bottle.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: May 22, 2015
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