In the past couple of decades, the sales of wines made with Chardonnay grapes has risen and fallen more than once. For many people, this green skinned grape was marred by a poor reputation for bland and uninteresting wines, a great shame considering the fact that Chardonnay grapes have proven time and time again to be interesting, versatile and full of surprises. Most commonly, fine Chardonnay wines are buttery, smooth and creamy as a result of malolactic fermentation, yet with hints of tropical fruits and orchard fruits such as apples and pears. What is most remarkable about Chardonnay grapes, however, is the fact that unlike many other 'white' grapes, they are exceptionally good at holding the characteristics of their terroir in the bottle. As such, despite their fluctuating reputation, this is one grape varietal which produces constantly surprising, impressive and varied wines.
There are few countries in the world which have a more fascinating or ancient viticultural history than that of Lebanon, which archaeologists believe has been producing wines for over five thousand years. Indeed, the Phoenicians who once lived on the Lebanese coast were responsible for spreading viticulture around Europe several millennia ago, long before the Romans or Greeks. Today, Lebanese wines are receiving more and more global interest, and wineries are opening every year to meet the growing demand. Most of the grapes which are grown in the fertile and beautiful eastern part of the country are of French origin, although there are still plenty of indigenous grape varietals which are also becoming more popular as wine drinkers worldwide seek out new flavors and styles.