Château Kefraya is the only winery born during Lebanon’s civil war (1975-90). This exploit was achieved because of the vision and perseverance of Founder Michel de Bustros. The vineyard is located above 1000 meters in the West-Bekaa Valley, in the heart of the most beautiful wine region of Lebanon. It covers almost 300 hectares. Crossed by the Great African (Tectonic) Rift, the result is a very diverse mosaic of different terroirs made of micro-plots, harvested manually and vinified separately, with utmost care and precision.
DID YOU KNOW?
Although Chateau Kefraya’s 300 hectares of vines are located in one single land (West Bekaa), it still contains no less than 13 different soil types? And that every soil-type gives to wine a different expression?
WHAT’S THE INNOVATION?
Chateau Kefraya undertook a comprehensive study over all its Land, using technology to better understand it. They began by using ‘’drone technology’’ to obtain a top view of their vineyards, allowing them to identify, through the different shades of colors, which zones of parcels have a similar soil type.
They then took samples from each zone to analyze the soils’ typography, with the help of a specialist in Pedology.
After a better understanding of its vineyards Chateau Kefraya moved to the ‘’micro-climate’’ study. For that step, they attached sensors to each grapevines’ zone to understand the impact of the micro-climate parameters on it: meaning humidity, water, temperature and soil moisture on the grapes; a set of information used for the sake of the quality of wine that will be later produced.
Chateau Kefraya is leading wine innovation in Lebanon. it was one of the worldwide pioneers to use this technology on wine and the first to use it in Lebanon.
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE INNOVATION?
Chateau Kefraya believes that any winery should know its terroir better to improve wine quality. While they knew – to a certain extent and through experience – what vine zone was the best for each wine, they needed to confirm it and understand the scientific reasons behind it.
Chateau Kefraya started the study in 2014 with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, planted on 8 different soils and submitted to different microclimates. Then, they decided to repeat the same process for the whole land. In 2017, they even introduced the drone technology and the ‘’Internet of Things’’ (IoT), to obtain more accurate results.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Such scientific knowledge enables Chateau Kefraya to take the best decisions on how to optimize its land, based on scientific evidence. This directly improves the quality of the wines produced and make better usage of the domain’s resources, while preserving the environment.
As a result of this study, Chateau Kefraya was able to launch many ‘’special cuvees’’, expressing each a distinct ‘’micro-terroir’’ and produced in limited quantities dedicated at specialized wine shops: Ex: “Les Exceptions” (single-varieties from unique terroirs); the Cuvee “Adéenne” (100% made with local Lebanese grapes); the Cuvee “Amphora”: a tribute to Phoenicians, using their method of making wines in clay jars…
WHO IS BENIFITTING?
This technology is a step towards a more precise and sustainable viticulture, less energy consumption, better water conservation and of course wines of higher quality.