“From weed to wine, from cannabis to cabernet”
Couvent Rouge is the story of a village that decided to replace its cannabis plantations with noble vine grapes. The Couvent Rouge winery is located in the depths of the Bekka Valley, just outside of a small town called Deir El Ahma. Originally known for its illicit plantations, this small village decided in 1999 to establish the “Coteaux d’Héliopolis” a co-operative, allowing the farmers to settle down in their home village.
Today, the Fairtrade certified cooperative gathers more than 200 farmers, with bio-certified vineyards, spreading on over 240Ha. Instead of selling raw materials to different Lebanese wine producers, two young and dynamic farmers, adherent to the cooperative, decided to give birth to the village’s wine by establishing Couvent Rouge, a modern and sophisticated winery that bears the name of its village.
All grapes are both Organic and Fairtrade certified, and for more than a few years now, the village has been producing an exceptional vine grape, but also a remarkable wine. The Couvent Rouge vineyards soar as high as 1800 meters altitude, ranking it amongst some of the highest vineyards in the world. With over 300 sunny days a year, the city of sun, that nests the temple of Bacchus, god of wine, offers exceptional conditions for vine growing and wine production.
Couvent Rouge offers a modern vision of the Lebanese wine production, through its full range of dry wines, underlining the characteristics of our terroir. Elegant and complex wines, yet accessible. A family owned business that took birth from the union of two avid winemakers, their love for the soil and their passion for wine.
People have been growing grapes and making wine in the Bekaa Valley for millennia. “There was an uninterrupted wine culture in Lebanon even before the Jesuits [revitalized winemaking] in 1857,” says Michael Karam, the Lebanese-British author of Lebanese. The Jesuits’ “game changer was that they made a dry wine” and “laid the foundations of the modern wine industry. Then, with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the arrival of the French, things really began to motor,”