Skip to main content

Château Ksara is situated in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley on the outskirts of the town of Zahle.

FACADE avant travaux (6 Avril 1962)


Winemaking began in Lebanon over 7,000 years ago – the Phoenicians were the first wine merchants in history spreading the message of wine to the then known world – but Château Ksara is currently Lebanon’s oldest ‘modern’ winery.

The property sits on top of two kilometres of ancient Roman caves discovered at the end of the 19th century and extended with the help of local men who sought sanctuary with the Jesuits to escape conscription in the Ottoman army. It is in these cellars that many of Ksara’s wines are aged to this day.

The winery was founded in 1857 by Jesuit brothers who preached and farmed in the area. The wines, made initially with Rhone varieties such as Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault, were the brothers’ personal consumption. In 1920, two years after the end of World War I, the Jesuits started selling their wine due to a sudden demand from the French Mandatory authority made up of over 50,000 soldiers and civil servants.

In 1973, after the Pope decreed the Church divest itself of all its profit-making interests, the winery was sold to its current owners who have maintained the Jesuit heritage and as such the winery retains a special place in the heart of the Lebanese people.

In 1990, after a long costly civil conflict which began in 1975, the winery embarked upon a bold restructuring program and the introduction of new varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay to sit alongside the traditional Rhone varieties. It saw the historic producer position itself to meet the needs of the international consumer.

Château Ksara farms 440 hectares of vineyards, making around 3 million bottles each year. It was the first Lebanese producer to make varietal wines – Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay – and the first to make a varietal Merwah in commercial quantities. Winemaker James Palgé has been at the helm for a quarter of a century, ensuring consistency. Château Ksara’s range of wines offers a snapshot of styles coming out of Lebanon, from easy-drinking, fruit-forward blends that capture the Bekaa’s formidable terroir to more complex wines that reflect the winery’s strong French influence.

Today, it is Lebanon’s leading winery, making fourteen wines, an arak and an Eau-de-Vie. It is a fixture on Lebanese dining tables and in Lebanese restaurants the world over. More importantly, over the past thirty years it has, along with Château Musar, been the outstanding ambassador for Lebanon.

It also welcomes nearly 100,000 tourists who explore the Roman cellars and enjoy tutored tastings of the wines from Ksara’s staff who are all WSET certified. The winery boasts a restaurant and purpose built tasting room.