Generic campaign pays off

The garden at Domaines des Tourelles, one of the wines to be listed by M&S

The Wines of Lebanon generic campaign, now mid-way through its second year, is the most significant initiative ever undertaken by Lebanon’s wine industry. Run by Madeleine Waters of Coco PR in the UK, it has given focus and context to country that for many years promised so much and yet some how always punched below its weight.

Now comes arguably the biggest breakthrough of all. Marks and Spencer will be stocking Lebanese wine as part of its Eastern Mediterranean range.

This would never have happened without the campaign and it highlights the importance of selling the country along with the wine.

Oz Clarke

Meanwhile, Oz Clarke was in town last week. As was, the wine commentator and critic (not to mention former actress) Christina Pickard, Decanter’s Adam Lechmere and Tom Cannavan from the Wine Gang and The quartet was in Lebanon on a press trip organized by the Union Vinicole du Liban as part of its Wines of Lebanon generic campaign to raise the sector’s profile in the UK market.

As far as I could tell, the feedback on our 7 million bottles was reassuringly similar to that given by other high profile writers and trade members who have visited Lebanon in the past 18 months – notably MWs Tim Atkin and Sarah Jane Evans, Victoria Moore of the Daily Telegraph, wine foodies Fiona Beckett and Fiona Sims, Nina Caplan of Time Out and Mark Perlaki from HDV Harrogate to name a few: That is

  • Lebanon’s terroir is wonderfully varied and fantastically giving, delivering wines that express the generosity of spirit that Lebanon exudes
  • Less “fashionable” but more climatically suited grapes – Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre and the local white Obeideh – can give really exciting results and should used more in blends
  • There is still seems to be an over reliance on oak at a time when many consumers are moving away from “international” style wines
  •  Most importantly, all said that Lebanon needs to make a genuine effort at building an identity, making better use of, and highlighting, the grapes – again Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre and Obeideh – that offer something different to the palate and make Lebanese wines stand out in a crowded international market place



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    as a novice wine taster, i must say i really love your blog and your books. keep it up.

    i mostly appreciate that this forthcoming lebanese identity in winemaking which is being pushed by the UVL, is also being boosted by independent writers, bloggers and media.

    it makes the whole journey into learning about wine much more delightful.

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