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Harvesting at Chateau Vineyards


Kassatly Chtaura is a beverage company in Chtaura, Beqaa Valley, Lebanon. Founded in 1974 by Akram Kassatly, the company concentrated in its beginning on soft and alcoholic beverages.
Mr. Kassatly's original ambition has been, since the foundation of the company, the production of a quality wine, being himself a graduate in Oenology from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. He wanted to perpetuate the family tradition ; his father Nicolas Kassatly has started his wine business in 1919.
The first wines from Chateau Ka in the Lebanese Bekka Valley were bottled in 2005, under the leadership of Akram Kassatly the founder of Kassatly Chtaura. The Chateau Ka wines over the past decade have won a multitude of national wine awards, and proudly represent fine winemaking in Lebanon. The quality wine range from Chateau Ka includes a selection of premium red wines including Fleur de Ka and Source de Rouge.

Bekaa Valley (general view)


Yellow Road Questions answered by Michelle Ragy, Chateau Ka

1 - I read on your website that Kassatly Chtaura was established in 1974 by President and CEO Akram Kassatly. Mr. Kassatly had the idea of creating the first bottled Jallab for home-preparation."
And what is "Jallab" - Fruit Jams, Fruit Juices, Smoothies?

Jallab is a fruit syrup that is made from dates, carob, grape molasses, and rose water. It is very popular during the months of Ramadan. Kassatly is especially known for their Jallab syrup

2 - Is it really that Château Ka is the only winery in Lebanon that produces wine entirely from their own vineyards? ..
Château Ka does produce wine entirely from our grapes, and even sells part of the harvest to other wineries in Lebanon. But we do not have the info to know which wineries produce from their own harvests/buy from other wineries.
Harvester

Chateau vineyards view


3 - In which European countries can we taste your wine?
Our wine is available in France, London, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland.

4 - Share your successes in winemaking: awards, prizes ...


WINE MEDALS / AWARDS

• IWSC :
- Silver for Fleur de Ka 2006
- Silver for Source de Rouge 2011
- Silver for Source Blanche 2011
- Bronze for Cadet de Ka 2010
- Bronze for Cadet de Ka 2009

• IWC :

- Bronze for Fleur de Ka 2006
- Bronze for Source Rouge 2011
- Silver for Cadet de Ka 2009
- Silver: fleur de ka 2007 (in 2014)
- Bronze: rosé 2013 (in 2014)
- Commended: source de rouge 2012
- Silver = 91 points: Fleur de Ka 2008 (in 2018)
- Bronze = 86 points: Cadet de Ka 2015 (in 2018)


• DWWA Decanter:
- Commended for Source de Rouge 2011
- Commended for Cadet de Ka 2010
- Silver medal: Source Blanche 2012
- Silver Medal: Source Rosée 2013

MUNDUS VINI
- Silver. Source rouge 2011

NY ULTIMATE BEVERAGE
91 points for source de rouge 2012

In the Chateau cellar

In the Chateau cellar



5 - Is there a wine tasting at your winery?
Yes, of course. We have our wine cave specially designed for our wine tastings.

6 - What is your favorite wine (red or white)? And why? Please name your best wines.
One of our Best wines to today is our Fleur de Ka 2005 - a powerful cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. It has a spicy bouquet with notes of sweet peppers, presenting subtle tanning with fruity , licorice aroma and a delicious smooth, velvety finish. It is best served between 16-18 C with fine red meat or cheese.

7 - The readers of the Yellow Road are always interested in hearing about the owners of the winery, how did they achieve success in their business?

Akram Kassatly Interview:

The family business was started in 1919 by my father Nicolas Kassatly. I am just developing his mission, as the company has expanded into many different categories of beverages.
The 1975 civil war and its complications were our biggest challenges as it was full of instability and insecurity, roads were blocked, shops and banks were closed etc. After surpassing that, we faced new oppositions with every brand we created, mainly by its direct international competitor, and we came ahead in many places.
Excellence in quality has always been our #1 priority. It is the backbone of who we are and is the main reason for our success both locally and abroad.
Our products success varies with the territory, we are lucky to have good partners around the world
• Syrups, mainly Jallab, Liqueurs, FruitasticJuices and Jams under the Kassatly Chtaurabrand, are the biggest locally, and in the GCC region (Syrups only)
• Alcoholic RTD under the Buzz Brand are big locally, in Iraq, Syria, Carribean countries, but also had their day under the sun in many African countries
• Freez, the non-alcoholic soda with 20 flavors was lately updated to a one of a kind superior look colored bottle that is exclusive to us, and it has done wonders in its existing markets all over the world (the MENA region, Europe, Canada, USA, some African countries, and the Carribean)
• Chateau Ka wines are big locally, in Dubai’s Duty Free, in France, Belgium, and in the UK
• Mezza, the flavored Malt Beverage is expanding in some Arab countries, and now in Europe. Soon it will sell in the USA, and Canada.
• Beirut Beer (born in 2014) has surpassed all expectations locally and is growing in new markets (Europe, Canada, USA, Iraq, Syria, UAE)
We are known to be very close to our customers and their needs. We sometimes create a demand for a new product, as we heavily advertise.
Lots of R&D, travel, a good vision, and most importantly a great team allowed for the realization of a great product that pleases all tastes. What makes it unique is the flavors that we chose, the packaging, smart advertising, and superior quality.
This however, is not the end, as we keep looking for new opportunities, new markets and new trends.




8 - List, if possible, a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white), which, in your opinion, that can decorate the "poster" of your farm
Chateau Wines...

Chateau Wines...


9 - Does your winery participate in any cultural projects?
We are part of UVL - Union Vinicole of Lebanon. In UVL we increase awareness and unite Lebanese wine makers. We were recently part of a video that was released to increase awareness of Lebanese wine that can be found on our instagram @chateaukawine
You can read more about UVL through the following link: http://www.lebanonwines.com/about-us/

10 - If it's not a secret, tell us about your plans for the future ….

We unfortunately cannot disclose any plans about the future…but something you may want to note is our new waste water treatment plant that was recently put together and is fully functioning in Chtaura. You can read all about it through the following link: http://kassatly.net/esmp-report--environmental-and-social-management-plan.pdf

11 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?
Our choice is Source Blanche - a blend of Muscat and Chardonnay with undertones of honey and exotic fruits. It is excellent as an aperitif and with seafood. The wine is heavily praised as one of the tastiest across Lebanon when we have direct feedback from our customers, as it is fresh and light on the tongue - always leaving you wanting more.
Source Blanche


12 - You can offer the most beautiful view (favorite point) of the vineyards or the surrounding landscape. May I ask you to take one or two photos of your favorite places? What does your castle look like?

Chateau Ka vineyards in summer

Chateau Ka vineyards in winter

Harvesting at Chateau Vineyards

Panoramic view of the Chateau vineyards




I thank Michelle Ragy,
for helping prepare this publication.

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road".
evtuhov@yahoo.com
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