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Syrian winery defies war to supply wine to European restaurants

Published:  24 July, 2013

Syrian winery, Domaine Bargylus, continues to go to extraordinary lengths to get its wines from a war zone to the elite wine lists of Europe.

Domaine Bargylus, which has received a number of positive reviews for its wines since its creation in 2005, has not let the conflict in Syria affect either production or distribution abroad.

"We usually send our wines overland to Beirut via Lebanon's northern border, but this is no longer an option," said owner Sandro Saadeh. "We now take the wines to Latakia where they are refrigerated to 15 degrees Celsius and shipped from Port Said, back to Beirut and then on to Belgium where we have our warehouse. Yes it is a long journey, but it is the only way. We have to be inventive." 

The Saadehs, who also own the Lebanese winery, Chateau Marsyas, have retained the services of French consultant winemaker, Stephane Derenoncourt, in both wineries. Domaine Bargylus makes two wines - a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Syrah and a Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc - with an annual production of just over 4,000 cases. 

* You can read Michael Karam's comment piece on how the Lebanese are rediscovering their taste for wines, beers and spirits on our Columnists page here