Massaya Terrasses de Baalbeck 2019  Front Label
Massaya Terrasses de Baalbeck 2019  Front LabelMassaya Terrasses de Baalbeck 2019  Front Bottle Shot

Massaya Terrasses de Baalbeck 2019

    750ML / 14.5% ABV
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    750ML / 14.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    A single vineyard from grapes grown on the foothills of Mount Lebanon, in the Hadath Baalbeck area.

    Attractive ruby hue of medium depth. A nose of fresh scrubland with a hint of jujube, while its finesse and elegance are clear as soon it touches the palate.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Massaya, Lebanon
    In 1990, the countryside house of the family in the Beqaa at Tanaïl had been abandoned to civil war and was inhabited by several families of squatters. Vegetation was scarce as the wells were damaged and the fence non-existent. It took the Ghosns’ best negotiating skills to reclaim the land. Once done, none of the family members had a clear vision of the next steps, so they started to produce all kinds of local produce, such a dairy, dry rasins, arak, and molasses. All these items were sold in a corner of the family pharmacy. During a visit to Ramzi in France, Sami started looking for a bottle for arak and rapidly noticed a blue bottle made in Germany that stood out. A friend who worked for a top ad agency, Dany Richa, helped with the first branding and confirmed the name Massaya as it stands for twilight in Lebanese, given that at the specific moment the sun sets behind Mount Lebanon the sky of the Beqaa turns dark blue with a hue similar to the blue bottle of arak. Gradually the property was being revitalized with trees, plants, passionate peasants …. and life was coming back …. The launching of the arak bottle coincided with the reconstruction effort in the country and the great wave of hope it generated. Its success was striking and gradually Sami and Ramzi abandoned their other professional occupations to focus on the blue bottle of arak. Both ambitious, they wanted to expand into wine but had no knowledge or experience; therefore, they decided to partner with some French domains to benefit from their expertise. Daringly they knocked on the door of a gentleman in Bordeaux, Dominique Hebrard, who was interested in the project. Then the Brunier family of le Vieux Télégraphe gave their approval to this challenging project. You have to understand that in 1997 only a few historical wineries were in control of all the wine production in Lebanon and no one challenged these household staple brands, but the Ghosns and the French partners believed they could join this small wine market on the condition that Massaya focus on quality and keep the size of the winery and vineyards human. So in 1998, the first new generation winery was launched that marked the renaissance of winemaking in Lebanon. From just four wineries in 1998, now Lebanon has more than 45 wineries. It took several years for the Ghosns and their French partners to detect the right terroirs and grape varieties. Some 10 years on, the Ghosns and the partners realized that the qualitative way forward should be based on new principles: The grapes varieties should be resistant to the climate change: that is, able to withstand more heat and longer dry seasons. The terroirs in the Beqaa are not homogenous and some zones, noticeably in the north, have the highest potential and deserve to be singled out. It is important to cultivate the white vines above 1100 m. The final say in winemaking and the blending should be in the hands of the Ghosns in order to avoid replicating the Rhone or Bordeaux wines. White wine in Lebanon deserves a totally different approach and equipment. The Beqaa is not the best location to properly cellar red wines, mainly because of the dry weather. These principles gradually took shape in a challenging project: Massaya Faqra, the new horizon for Massaya in 2015-2025. Once again the Ghosn family regrouped, with Ghada Ghosn joining Massaya in parallel to her yoga career. She brought more serenity to the team.
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    Home of the actual, historical temple of Bacchus, which dates back to the middle of the 2nd century AD, the Bekaa Valley today continues to represent the center of Lebanese winemaking. Here summers are dry, nights cool and consistent rainfall provides an excellent environment for viticulture.

    What today is known geographically as Lebanon, was the original home of the Phoenicians (approximately 1550 to 300 BC), who were sea-faring merchants and the first to trade wine as a commodity. Jumping to the Middle Ages (476 to 1453 AD), Lebanese wine continued to be of high value for Venice merchants, who sold it to the eager European buyers. But in 1517, when the Ottoman Empire took command in Lebanon, winemaking came to a halt. Christians were the only ones allowed to make it, and only for religious purposes.

    The foundations of the modern Lebanese wine industry come from the mid-19th century Jesuit missionaries of Ksara, who introduced new varieties and production methods from the then French-dominated Algeria. Today French varieties still prevail with Cinsault, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah as the main red grape varieties and Ugni blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Viognier as the main whites.

    While Chateau Musar was the only producer to survive the Lebanese 15 year-long civil war, the 1990s saw an emergence of new producers such as Chateau Kefraya, Chateau Ksara and new investment from major French producers.

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    With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

    STC893486_2019 Item# 1040179

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