Batroun is a winemaking region of Lebanon located 55 km to the north of Beirut. The town of Batroun is an extremely charming Maronite coastal town that is extremely popular during the summer. In the summer months, people flock to the town for its range of beach clubs, water sports, and buzzing nightlife. The Ottoman houses, cobblestoned streets, and many historical sites in Batroun make it a wonderful getaway while visiting Lebanon. The vineyards of Batroun are located at high altitudes of up to 1300 meters above sea level. These vines produce high-quality grapes that are used to make wines that are intense in color and full of flavor.
Batroun is a Lebanese wine region located 55km north of the city of Beirut. Batroun is a popular tourist destination for local and international visitors not only for its wine but also thanks to its perfect coastal location and favorable climate. The region that Batroun is located in is mostly mountainous and is the second-largest wine-producing region in Lebanon. The vineyards are planted at approximately 1300 meters above sea level and are grown on terraces because of the steep terrain. In total, Batroun produces 6% of the total wine production in Lebanon.
The climate of Batroun is characterized by almost 300 days of sun a year and extremely high temperatures. This allows the grapes to mature and the flavors to become concentrated, giving the wine a particular strength. The intense heat on the vines is broken by cool breezes coming from the Mediterranean Sea. The soil of the region comprises mainly ferric clays with interspersed plates of limestone. This terroir is extremely rare and is found in less than 3% of the world’s winemaking regions.
Extreme Conditions for Winemaking
Growing grapes on the terrain of Batroun is a tricky task for local winemakers. The terrain is extremely rocky which makes winemaking very labor-intensive as the grapes are grown on narrow terraces on the steep mountain slopes. The vines tend to struggle in the dry and well-drained stony soil which means that the grapes that they products are of extremely high quality with concentrated juices and intense colors and flavors. The struggle of the vines is what in the ends make the wines of the region more dynamic than others from Lebanon.
The wines of the Batroum region are given the name of the region itself as well as the grape name. There is currently no clear appellation system in Lebanon but there is one IGP. Within the Batroun region, wines are grown in the Eddé-Basbina, Kfifane, Basbina & Andoula Villages. The Mediterranean climate of Batroun means that the region is able to produce some of the most exciting Lebanese wines.
Most of the wines produced in Batroun are blends and monovarietal. The most popular of these is the monovarietal Cabernet Franc that has a characteristic dark red colour with a soft and fresh nose. The body of the wine is silky and discrete with mild fruit flavours. When drunk, the wine is well balanced in the mouth with a crisp finish. The Batroun monovarietal Chardonnay has notes of passion fruit and other tropical fruits. The wine has a high level of minerals with an acidic palate.
The red wines of Batroun have a complexity of aromas of blackberry liqueur, red fruits and incense. The palate of these wines is rich with an intense nose that is thanks to the limestone terroir on which they are grown.
In making white wines in Batroun, indigenous grapes are usually blended with two noble southern varietals to produce elegant and golden wines. These wines have a wonderful floral aroma with hints of grapefruit. The soft acidity of the wine gives it a pleasant freshness when drunk.
Batroun has in recent times begun producing sparkling wines that offer a flavour burst of red fruits such as strawberries and raspberries and a crisp acidity.
The Aurora Winery and Vineyards is a small boutique winery located in the mountains of Batroun within the small village of Aurora. The vineyards of Aurora are planted at 900m above sea level, surrounded by olive and oak trees and overlooking the Walnut River. The family of winemakers at Aurora pride themselves on producing the finest boutique wines that are both elegant and complex in character. Visitors are welcome to the estate to enjoy a typical Lebanese wine tasting experience.
Batroun Mountains is a family-run winery that is dedicated to producing the highest quality organic Lebanese wines. The production of the winery is approximately 60 000 bottles a year, made using only the estate’s own grapes. The family and team at Batroun Mountains welcome visitors to the estate to taste the local wines and enjoy pairings with the freshest local produce. The winemaking team is always available to teach visitors about the Lebanese winemaking process.
St. Stephan’s Cathedral -The Most Captivating Cathedral in Lebanon
Located in the city of Batroun and overlooking the city’s major fishing port is the Maronite St. Stephan’s Cathedral. The cathedral was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the grounds of what was once a former and smaller Crusader church. The design and construction of the church was supervised by the Italian architect Giuseppe Maggiore who included both Roman, Gothic and Byzantine elements. St. Stephan’s Cathedral was built using only Batroun sandstone and consists of one main nave, two wards facing the east and the west and three bell towers. The inside of the church houses impressive marble columns, three altars and a painting of St. Stephan. This monumental church is a must see for all who have the privilege of visiting Batroun.
Mussaylha Fort – A Local Treasure of Batroun
The Mussaylha Fort is an old fortification that is located in Batroun near to the village of Hamat. The current fort was built in the 17th century to guard the route for travellers from Tripoli to Beirut. It is built on a narrow limestone rock close to the Nahr el-Jawz River. The walls of the fort were constructed using Batroun sandstone blocks which were quarried from the nearby coast. To access the fort there is a long staircase with thick walls and many small entrances to explore. At the top of the climb one can experience some of the best panoramic views of the surrounding area. Although the fort is often overlooked on main tourist itineraries, this castle on top of a rock should not be missed.
Batroun Old Harbour – Lebanon’s Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Port
The old harbour of Batroun is one of the city’s most visited attractions and images of this beautiful site have become synonymous with Batroun. Adjacent to the old harbour is a natural sea wall that was reinforced by the Phoenicians. One of the most popular times to visit the Batroun old harbour is during the summer months when a number of outdoor events are held in the port.
Step back in time in the Batroun Village Old Souk
One of the best places to explore in Batroun is the Old Souk which is the old 19th-century city marketplace. The houses of the Souk are beautifully unique thanks to their vaults made of Batroun sandstone. In former times they were a symbol of the town’s rich upper class and the bourgeois industrialists and tradesmen. The marketplace was once the center of Batroun’s shops, stores, hotels, and businesses. Today it is where many people live and a great place to explore what the town looked like in the past and enjoy the interesting local culture.
The Natural Attractions to See in Batroun
The Batroun region is well known for its natural wealth and beauty. The region is characterized by endless expanses of green land, mountains and a glistening coastline. The diverse nature of Batroun makes it the perfect location for nature lovers. It is a true outdoor paradise with wonders that never cease to amazing.
Batroun Phoenician Wall – The Ancient Phoenician Sea Wall of Batroun
The Batroun Phoenician wall is an ancient Phoenician sea wall. Originally this wall was a natural structure formed by petrified sand dunes. Over the time, the Phoenicians reinforced the wall using rocks. The wall as its stands today, was shaped during the first century BC. The purpose of the Phoenician sea wall was to protect Batroun from invaders and storms forming over the sea. During Roman times, however, it was used as a quarry. The total length of the wall is 225m and it is between 1 and 1.5 meters thick. Although parts of the wall have crumbled over time, it still protects the town from the sea and is a wonderful place to visit to enjoy a walk.
Bonita Bay – The Most Perfect Beach of Batroun
Bonita Bay is located in Batroun on a large pebble beach. This beach is extremely popular for its large swimming pool and its seaside bar. There is also a seafood restaurant that offers breathtaking views and the freshest local seafood. Bonita Bay is the perfect place to spend the day at the seaside while relaxing and enjoying the long hours of sunshine and the warm weather of Batroun. Access to Bonita Bay costs 25 000 LBP which is considered very well priced compared to other beach clubs in the area.
Joining Beach – One of the Natural Wonders of Batroun
Joining Beach is located in Kfarabida in Batroun. This beach is extremely popular for its caves, fauna, flora and water sports. The beach is home to some of the rarest fauna in Lebanon, as well as huge turtles which are a sight to see. One of the most popular activities at Joining Beach is water bouldering. This is a form of solo rock climbing that takes place on sea cliffs. What makes this kind of climbing unique is that climbers rely completely on the water at the bottom of the cliff to protect them from injury when falling. The location of Joining Beach means that is has the most wonderful views of the Mediterranean. It is also considered one of the most perfect places in Batroun for swimming and sunbathing.
The Gastronomy of Batroun
The cuisine of Batroun is based mainly on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and the freshest fish and seafood. The growing and exciting restaurant and dining scene in Batroun make it the perfect destination to explore the cuisine of the area while pairing the dishes with the excellent local wines. Batroun is the perfect food and wine destination for those visiting Lebanon.
Samke Harra – Lebanese Saltwater Fish
Samke Harra is a traditional dish of the Batroun region, which directly translates from Arabic to ‘spicy fish’. This dish is normally prepared by the locals for special occasions but can also be found on the menus of most local restaurants. Samke Harra is made with baked fish that is served with a sauce made with garlic, tahini, lemon, spices and nuts. The spices that are used to flavour the sauce include cumin, coriander, chili, cardamom, and pepper. In making Samke Harra, it is recommended that snapper fish is used but other types of fish can be used depending on availability. The dish is served either warm or at room temperature and is best enjoyed with a local crisp white wine.
Lebanese Lemonade – The Lebanese Twist on a Traditional Lemonade
For the incredibly hot weather of the Batroun weather, there is nothing that is more thirst quenching than a tall glass of the locally made lemonade. Lebanese lemonade in Batroun is made using freshly squeezed lemon juice, orange blossom water, clover honey, sparkling wine or sparkling water, fresh mint sprigs and lemon slices. All of these ingredients are mixed, stirred together thoroughly and then left to chill before serving. This delicious beverage is the perfect summer cooler and is the most refreshing thing to drink in Batroun.
Fish Kibbeh – An Unique Lebanese Fish Dish
Kibbeh is a popular dish in Lebanon that is traditionally made by frying balls of flavoured ground meat. Fish kibbeh however is unique to the Batroun region and is a different take on the traditional kibbeh recipe. The ingredients of fish kibbeh are white fish filets, burghul (a Lebanese cereal grain), fresh coriander leaves, onion, lemon, black pepper, and olive oil. To make the dish, the onions and fish are pureed with coriander, lemon, and black pepper. The rinsed burghul is added to this mixture and formed into balls. The balls are fried until crispy and golden. Fish kibbeh is the perfect snack dish on a summer evening to enjoy with a glass of white wine to experience the true taste of Batroun.
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Soil: Ferric clays with limestone plates and lime marl
Bekaa Valley wine region is a great destination with a broad offering of wineries with wine tasting and tours. On our website you can book your visits in order to be prepared for your time in the region.
Map of Wineries in Batroun wine region
Discover the long wine tradition of Batroun and discover some of the best wineries in this region
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