There are few white wine grape varietals as famous or widely appreciated as the Chardonnay, and with good reason. This highly flexible and adaptable grape quickly became a favorite of wineries due to its fairly neutral character. This neutrality allows the wineries to really show off what they are capable of doing, by allowing features of their terroir or aging process to come forward in the bottle. As well as this, most high quality wineries which produce Chardonnay wines take great efforts to induce what is known as malolactic fermentation, which is the conversion of tart malic acids in the grapes to creamy, buttery lactic acids associated with fine Chardonnay. Whilst the popularity of Chardonnay wines has fluctuated quite a considerable amount over the past few decades, it seems the grape varietal allows enough experimentation and versatility for it always to make a successful comeback.
Lebanon has been producing wines for over five thousand years, and was once home to the Phoenicians â€“ perhaps the first great viticulturists whose influence spread all over Europe and the middle east, and resulted in many of the great wine regions we know and love today. Lebanese wine culture in the modern age in mainly centered in the eastern part of the country, where the climatic conditions and terroir is ideal for growing a wide range of native and imported grape varietals. Indeed, along the Syrian border, wineries have long been cultivating many fine French grape varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, which make up for a large proportion of all the grapes grown in the country. Lebanese wineries are certainly on the increase, as more demand for the country's wines has led to a relative boom in viticulture over recent years, with the number of wineries doubling in the last decade.