WADI ANNOUBINE & MERSEL, LEBANON
The history of wine in Lebanon dates back to 1550 BC, when the Phoenicians not only spread the alphabet and played big roles in trade, but also crafted wine that was transported in large terracotta amphora-like vessels that were produced in the town of Tyre. The history of wine in the region is among the oldest in the world, yet we don't see enough of it around, and when we do, it tends to be a few of the larger mass producers.
Eddie and his wife Michelle seek to continue the legacy of crafting wine from Lebanon in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, while embodying the country's warm and hospitable culture. So they produce wines that are made for everyone to enjoy, for everyone to feel welcome in this - at times - confusing and intimidating world of wine, while helping their local farmers and bringing attention to a new wave of Lebanese wine.
The name 'Mersel' comes from the region's highest viticultural area, Maksar Mersel, located between the Cedars and Ainata el Arz at an altitude ranging between 2,000 and 2,400m asl. The wines of Mersel represent a high-altitude, cool-climate style for the Mediterranean. Eddie and Michelle also have vineyards in the Bekaa Valley, Wadi Annoubine and in Northern Lebanon, surely enough giving consumers the opportunity to taste and learn more about Lebanon's wide spanning viticultural regions.
Crafted simply and with a light hand, Eddie does not take away nor add anything to his wines except for a touch of sulfites. The grapes are grown organically and the wines are unfiltered and unfined, resulting in simply fermented grape juice that is true to the varietal and land.
Partnering with Mersel, and having the opportunity to shine a light on Lebanon brings me so much joy, longing and fulfillment. My mother was raised in Tyre, where she and her family sought refuge after forcibly leaving Palestine. Tyre is a place she often refers to with much love and nostalgia. Connecting with Mersel has been a way for me to reconnect with my heritage and roots, something us "third-culture" kids can easily grow apart from. Eddie and Michelle, their wines, and this region warms my heart. It is such an honour to be able to share them, and snippets of my roots with you all.