WATA is a micro-cidery in Kesrouan’s Wata el Joz. Since its inception, WATA’s goal has been to produce the finest Lebanese modern ciders. It promotes sustainable living from the land to the cider bottle. Today, WATA has aided in forming a cider culture in Lebanon and putting the country on the map of the world’s best ciders for the first time.
DID YOU KNOW?
WATA cider takes its name from the village of Wata el Joz, where the apples are grown and cultivated. This village holds special meaning for WATA’s founders because their grandparents, Naoum and Yvette Khalife, were among the first families to settle there. They saw an opportunity in this town to raise a loving, healthy, and happy family, and they made the best of it. The Wata orchard is now run by the fourth generation of the family. It has been growing premium dessert apples at an elevation of 1400m since 1960, in an ideal microclimate of bright autumn days, white winters, soft springs, and warm summers with 300 days of sunshine. Today, these fruits are at the forefront of Lebanon’s cider culture.
WHAT’S THE INNOVATION?
WATA uses sustainable farming practices in their orchards to protect the environment while maintaining the highest quality of their fruit. They use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program to ensure that Agri-ecosystems are not disrupted. WATA also works with farmers to help them develop skills that will promote safer farming practices. The company produces four modern cider blends and is constantly innovating fine produce from Lebanese apples and terroir.
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE INNOVATION?
WATA’s founder, Soha Frem Karam, has seen tons of high-quality apples go to waste due to over-production, ineffective marketing channels, poor farming practices, and a lack of government support. Aside from apple cider vinegar and homemade jam, the Lebanese kitchen did little to incorporate the fruit into everyday products. With a bounty of apples at her disposal and a passion for agricultural sustainability, she set out to solve an apple crisis that was threatening to transform the agri-ecosystem and jeopardize many people’s livelihoods. Soha had always imagined Wata as her fun summer destination. Today, Soha decided to return to this land, not just to benefit from it, but also to help it thrive, and thus WATA was born.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Cider consumption is increasing at a rapid rate around the world. Wata believes that the production of cider in Lebanon has the potential to impact the local economy through exports, job creation, and economic growth.
WHO IS BENEFITTING?
WATA’s business boosts the profits of local farmers, stimulates the Lebanese economy, shares years of industry experience, and provides first-class products locally and internationally.