The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2018

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Page 76 of 124

76  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2018 EVENT RECAP C onceived in one of the oldest sites in the world for wine production, wines from Lebanon have been sought after for centuries by kings and commoners alike. The Mediterranean country's rich heritage of indigenous grapes has recently attracted renewed attention, and that interest was on full display during the Lebanese Wine Day winemaker tour in California this past November. The event brought 27 different producers to San Francisco and Los Angeles to showcase their wines to members of the trade, with the first Lebanese Wine Day unfolding in San Francisco at the historic and recently-renovated Merchants Exchange Club in the Financial District. The day began with a master class presented by renowned wine speaker Jean Reilly, MW, and a second class followed in the afternoon. A walkaround wine tasting ran concurrently, where guests had the opportunity to meet face to face with winemakers and representatives from the Lebanese government. The producers then headed to Los Angeles, where they offered up their wines during another tasting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The winemakers and producers were thrilled to acquaint the American market with the wines of Lebanon in both cities. "We are very excited about our successful trip to California and to have shared our wines with members of the wine trade," said Louis Lahoud, Director-General of the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture. "These tastings were a great way for us to raise awareness about Lebanese wines and demonstrate their unique place in the U.S. market." Heavily influenced by the French, Lebanon's most widely- planted varietals include Cinsault, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. In recent years, the country's wines have garnered numerous accolades and recognition from the press as representing an "emerging area." The unusual climatic conditions of the Bekaa agricultural val- ley—hot and arid, with cool nights—result in long-lasting wines that encompass both aromatic whites and strong-bodied reds. Lebanese Wine Day was sponsored by the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and managed by Eventions, a full-service event management company located in Beirut, Lebanon. A New Age LEBANESE WINE DAY IS A SUCCESS IN SAN FRANCISCO AND LOS ANGELES by Izzy Watson

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