Formed in 1978 during the civil war years (1975 – 1990), Château Kefraya is one of only a handful of Lebanese properties who managed to keep operating through the conflict. For Michel de Bustros, whose family had been growing grapes in Kefraya in the Bekaa Valley since 1950, it seemed a natural progression, having supplied grapes to Château Musar and Château Ksara for many years. He felt that he too could create something special himself from the mature vines on his estate, but the next twelve years no doubt the most difficult imaginable for any fledgling winery, as it was occupied, shelled, and even saw its French winemaker mistakenly captured and imprisoned as a suspected terrorist.
Michel’s foresight paid off however, and since the end of the war the winery has blossomed to become Lebanon’s second largest, making wines at the very highest levels and garnering acclaim from such esteemed critics as Robert Parker.
This success has come in part from a profound understanding of the potential of the soils within the estate’s holdings, with grapes for the finest wines coming from vineyards at higher altitude in the hills, situated on such diverse terrain as stony river beds, limestone terraces and sandy slopes, and each plot vinified separately to give an enviable palette of possibilities at blending time. The winery is amongst the most advanced in Lebanon, having undergone a $7m investment in 2009, and the estate includes one of the most popular restaurants in the Bekaa.