Once upon a time, in a land known for its exquisite fertility, a Frenchman by the name of Francois-Eugene Brun visited the Bekaa valley as a military engineer. After completing his mission, the young man fell in love with the land of the Bekaa, and subsequently purchased an estate. The estate was to later be named Domaine Des Tourelles. Initially, Brun’s estate was both a hotel and a winery; however, with the big success of the wine produced within the hotel, Brun decided to pursue wine production more elaborately and extensively. Hence, he closed down the hotel and turned the entire estate into a vineyard, producing one of the most loved wines of the century. Three generations from the Brun family continued the legacy, until the last Brun died in 1999. The two families of Issa, and Issa El Khoury purchased the vineyard shortly thereafter; and have taken it upon themselves to preserve the heritage of the Brun wine.
We met Mr. Emile Issa El Khoury one of the co-owners of the wine distillery, and arak manufacturers to give us an overview of their heritage, wines, and specialties. Throughout the discussion with Mr. Issa El Khoury, we went over the lines of products that the artisans of Domaine Des Tourelles offer.
There are two basic lines of production, which are the classic wine and the château wine.
The classic wine is called Domaine Des Tourelles, a product manufactured in white, rosé, and red wine. While the château wine is the premium wine that can be rendered vintage.
The Classical Wines:
Their red wine is produced with three types of grapes, Syrah, Cabernet-Sauvignon, as well as Cinsault grapes. This wine is distinguished by its ruby red color, as well as its enticing aroma of Morello cherries.
The Domaine Des Tourelles White Wine has a magnificent golden color, its aroma reminding you of pineapple, litchi, and jasmine. A wine manufactured with Chardonnay Grapes, Viognier, and Muscat D’Aléxandrie grapes.
The rosé, known to be a signature rosé wine at the distillery manufactured by Syrah grapes, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cinsault, and Tempranillo grapes. At first taste, this wine releases scents of wild strawberries, and litchi. A summer inspiring taste that indulges one’s senses with its obvious depth and aroma.
The Château Wines:
Marquis Des Bays, produced from hand selected parcels of Syrah grapes, and Cabernet-Sauvignon. A wine of burgundy color, aged in French oak barrels.
Syrah Du Liban is made from the Syrah grape, a fruit of the Mediterranean region. This wine is strong in character; however, it leaves an impression of balance and aroma. The Syrah Du Liban is a wine aged in American oak barrels.
Domaine Des Tourelles has two other house specialties, and they are their very own home made liquors.
The Oranjaline is a triple sec, which means that the end product was distilled three times. A product manufactured in very limited editions. Found only at the Domaine Des Tourelles stores, and the Bekaa winery.
Broux De Noix is their other liquor made with the aroma and essence of walnuts. This product is served in chocolate shots, complete with a Domaine Des Tourelles exclusive recipe. The Oranjaline is served in a house recipe of dark chocolate shots, and The Broux De Noix in white chocolate shots.
Arak Brun is an iconic arak brand in Lebanon. Brun has a mythical positioning, and is known to be one of Lebanon’s most iconic araks. The team producing this arak has inherited the knowledge for its production process throughout three generations of manufacturers. Arak Brun is aged for 1 year in pottery jars. Arak Brun has another line, which is a more premium and a specialty at Domaine Des Tourelles, an arak that has been aged for five years’ time, thus giving it a smoother taste. This specialty is considered to be a more feminine, prestigious .and softer arak.
Old Brandy is a cognac done by the Brun family, a product that is almost 40 years old, sold to connoisseurs, and lovers of vintage and classical cognac.
Cartagene is a wine produced in 1976, now sold to a selective clientele of wine enthusiasts.
Vinagre De Vin. The finest restaurateurs in Lebanon choose Vinagre De Vin since it is a natural vinegar. Produced to this day by Domaine Des Tourelles. It is a vinegar manufactured from noble grapes and premium grapes.
Wine is an ambassador of a country and a region, it is perceived as a prestigious product. Mr. Issa El Khoury adds: “You are now producing a wine that will be sold in at least a year or two of time. The wine should taste like the land behind the bottle. Conscious of the ambassador role of each bottle produced in the winery, from Japan to the United States, wherever you taste this wine, it should remind you of the land it came from.” The winery has been preserved and maintained by the Lebanese families that bought the estate. The strong heritage of the Brun family is now sure to live on and thrive for many years to come.