LONDON: In collaboration with “the Union Vinicole du Liban” (UVL) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Lebanon, the Lebanese embassy hosted a two-day event for homemade wine tasting in the United Kingdom.
On Wednesday, the first day of the event was held at the House of Commons, with the presence of several British MPs, Ambassadors and the Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture Louis Lahoud. During the event, British MP and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Lebanon, John Hayes, gave a speech on the importance of creating such events, to uncover the beautiful facet of Lebanon through its wine.
Lebanese Ambassador to the UK Rami Mortada said that this was a symbolic moment to have Lebanese wine in such a prestigious venue like the House of Commons. “Lebanese wine is a success story for Lebanon, since it competes with several international wines all over the world. We take pride in it since it sends a message of coexistence, friendship and deep culture.” Mortada said.
On the second day, the event took place at the Lebanese ambassador’s house, who welcomed wine connoisseurs, traders and Lebanese expats living in the UK. The evening also entailed a musical performance by artists from the "Peace and Prosperity Trust."
Hassan Rahal, representative of Cave Kouroum, believes that “Lebanese wine at the UK House of Commons is a great achievement to a country small in its wine production’s capacity, and big in its promises. Cave Kouroum winery combines a long history in grape growing with a modern art of winemaking.”
The two-day event gathered over 20 of Lebanon’s leading wine producers: Adyar, Cave Kouroum, Chateau Belle-Vue, Domaine Wardy, Chateau Heritage, Sindiana Wines, Chateau Khoury, Chateau Ksara, Chateau Musar, Chateau Oumsiyat, Chateau Qanafar, Chateau Sanctus, Chateau Ka, Chateau St Thomas, Domaine Najm, Chateau Marsyas, Domaine des Tourelles, IXSIR, Karam Wines, Clos du Phoenix, Latourba and Vertical 33.
It was the United Kingdom’s largest Lebanese wine tasting event.
“Britain is one of our biggest markets. We value the UK’s willingness to embrace wines from diverse markets, and we are confident we can build on the base we have already established.” Zafer Chaoui, chairman of Chateau Ksara and president of the Union Vinicole du Liban, told the “Drinks Retailing News” website.
British Ambassador to Lebanon, Chris Rampling shared via Twitter how great it was to "see 22 Lebanese wineries celebrating a special tasting session in London at the House of Commons. Trade goes both ways - and there's more we can do together.”
Apart from the fact that Lebanon is among the world’s oldest sites of wine production, history also speaks richly of Lebanon’s old relationship with wine. The temple of Bacchus in Baalbeck for instance, is one of the largest Roman temple ruins in the world, and was named after the Greek god of grave harvest and wine Bacchus. It is also said that Jesus Christ performed his first miracle by turning water into wine in the Lebanese village Qana.
The industry is valued at around $500 million a year by UVL.
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