Yellow Road

According to the already established tradition on the Yellow Road, under the heading "Special Guest", we try to introduce you to people (and their enterprises) who have been able to achieve unique results in their work. Today our guest is Elena Fucci, owner of the Elena Fucci winery in southern Italy. Her patrimony is 6 hectares of vineyard on the slope of the extinct volcano(!) Mount Vulture. Her winery produces only one appellation, Titolo wine. Red wine Titolo.

Elena Fucci

So, Elena Fucci, the owner of the winery Elena Fucci, answers the questions of the Yellow Road.

1- Please tell us a little about yourself
2 - and about Titolo wine...

Our winery was founded in 2000 at a time when our family was discussing whether to sell the beautiful vineyards surrounding the house where I grew up.
The vineyards were purchased in the 60’s by my grandfather Generoso, who chose to buy the highest part of the vineyard in Contrada Solagna of Titolo at the foot of Mount Vulture (an extinct volcano). Over the years that followed my grandfather and great-grandfather took care of the vineyards, selling the grapes after harvest and keeping just enough to produce some wine for personal consumption.
Our first thought was that “six hectares of land are too much to keep for fun” thus we decided to sell the land, also in consideration of the fact that my parents are teachers and both me and my siblings felt our future studies at the University would take us far from our home town of Barile. Interested buyers knocking at our door were numerous, but at the last moment I took a shot to the heart. I could not bear the idea that someone may take away from our family the vineyard that I grew up in (our house is located right in the middle of the vineyard) or accept the possibility that another name may do something great with the oldest vineyards on Mount Vulture; the majority of which are 55-60 years old, while some were planted over 70 years ago.

Elena Fucci

...and her famous wine TITOLO

Thus, I completely changed the plans I had for my future and my family and I decided to invest in our area and in the resource that allowed my father, and before him, my grandparents and great-grandparents to live and grow in Vulture.
It may seem like a story written by a novelist, but when I confided to my parents the idea I had and my intention to study enology at the University they were immediately delighted and willing to lend a hand. Especially my father, who seemed to harbor this dream for some time. In fact, I found him to be well versed in agronomy and everything else that would be needed to start this new venture.

The winery came to life with the 2000 vintage concurrently with my studies at the Faculty of Viticulture and Enology. Initially, we were assisted by an external consultant, while in 2004 all facets of the winery were taken over in first person. The choice from the beginning, without any regret, was to stake everything on a single label, the "TITOLO" envisioning it as a high quality, first class wine or "cru". A unique wine for objective reasons related to the yields of the vineyards and the quality of the vines, considering their age. A unique wine to best represent the characteristics of the Aglianico grape and the territory of the Vulture, where the particular mix of microclimate and terroir transmits to our wine one of the best and most unique expressions of this fabulous area that is Contrada Solagna del Titolo.

Elena Fucci's old vineyard

One of the greatest compliments given to the "TITOLO" is its recognizability among other wines; recognizability that is based on the representation of the territory from which it comes. Whoever comes to visit the winery and the company will visit southern Italian vineyards located in a mountainous, inland area at an altitude of 600 meters. They will visit a type of volcanic terrain, a strong mineral soil, dark in color and pozzolanic, which clearly catalogues in its layers the history and life of the Vulture volcano (walking between the rows one can always see the extinct Mount Vulture volcano just a few hundred meters away, an ancient volcano which gave rise to the lava cliffs upon which my vines, house and town of Barile are located). One can note the eruptive phases composed of lava flows, lapilli and ash, interspersed with periods of stasis composed of layers of clay. All of this is reflected in the glass when you savor the bouquet and taste the wine.

Elena next to the famous terroir ...

My interpretation of the territory is defined by industry insiders as “modern but not modernist”. Modern for being able to understand the real needs of the Aglianico variety in terms of maturation and aging, but always without changing the characteristics of the fruit that the vineyard yields in this wonderful corner of Italy. Not to mention the history of my family, the knowledge that has been passed down from past generations, who had this craft and art in their blood, especially my grandfather Generoso, who despite being 86 years old personally takes care of the vineyard on a daily basis. Every year, each vintage is a struggle as we barely have time to bring the grapes into the cellar before grandpa Roso is ready to prune the plants in order to have everything in order just in case the next season commences prematurely.

Basilicata region on the map of Italy]

and Lakes at the site of the crater

We started our journey conscious of being able to do a good job, but unpretentiously, considering the great heritage of Italian wine. Nonetheless, we still managed to make a name for ourselves, a satisfaction that goes beyond the awards from national and international wine guides, a demonstration that the past and the future can, together, allow a small company like ours become a great company known and appreciated the world over, thus giving us the possibility to make our territory better known to all.

The work we do in the vineyard, as I always say to my grandfather, is not only viticulture, it is also the art of gardening and in this way we are able to provide so much care to our vines. A complete respect for nature and its cycles without the use of chemicals; even the vines are tied up with broom fibers that are dried during the summer. To me the work in the vineyard is essential (we only vinify grapes grown in our vineyard) and when the grapes arrive in the winery and the wine making begins I am worried, in a way, that I may ruin the fruits of the harvest. Fortunately, the satisfactory end result makes all the hard work in the vineyard and cellar worthwhile.
Within this fertile land, the vines regard Mount Vulture with pride and fear, almost seeking a confirmation of quality for the grape and the wine with every day that passes. The context is unequaled beauty: sun, rain, snow and winds that signal the change in seasons.

Portrait on the background of the winery

New harvest

On these hills that seem to never end, close to an important vine, Aglianico del Vulture, Salvatore Fucci and his daughter Elena work with passion to improve the characteristics of this unmistakable and unique wine. Those characteristics do not exhaust themselves in the perfume or in color, in clarity or in flavor, but they reside within the personality of the wine and only one wine. TITOLO, in its equilibrium and in the capacity to transmit the original sensations to those who drink it.
The actual winery has been obtained from the old premises under the family residence (Torre TITOLO) where the grandfather Generoso placed the tractor and agricultural equipment. A first extension was performed by digging directly into the volcanic rock to accommodate the barrel cellar. The cellar is equipped with all the necessary equipment from harvesting to bottling and labeling using every available space (even the garage dad Salvatore) in order to ensure the best care possible to our TITOLO.
Recently the new winery was completed, built adjacent to the old cellar and in communication by a tunnel dug in volcanic rock. The new structure is built according to the principles of ecological design using recycled materials and recycling and with technologies for reduce to zero the impacts and energy consumption.

3 - Titolo wine is 100% Aglianico. Are there famous mixtures with this grape?
The disciplinary of Aglianico del Vulture DOC is only 100% with Aglianico grape, actually don't exist officially a blend with other variety. For the importance of this grape, is not easy find a variety to combine, and I'm not a fun of this idea of blend.

4 - Monte Vulture is 1326 meters high, your cellar is about 600 meters high. How often do you have to visit the top (at the crater) of a volcano?
In reality, the structure of the Vulture volcano is different from the classic image we all have. The craters are not at the top of the mountain but are at an altitude of about 600 meters inside the mountain which is completely the result of the volcanic eruptions. Today the crater houses a natural lake.

5 -Your grape variety (Aglianico) has been mentioned since the 7-6th century BC. Are there such ancient white grapes?
Unfortunately no. Basilicata is purely a wine-growing region of red grapes. In the past there were excellent varieties of Malvasia, but over time they have been lost as they were abandoned by the farmers or even uprooted. Today the production of white wines focuses on varieties of Greco and Fiano, which however are not at the level of those of nearby Campania.

6 - What is your favorite wine (red or white)? And why?
My favorite wine is bubbles! Italians and French ... Why ? The bubbles is the wine of the party, celebration… of happiness ! ( )And im a producer of red wine only , so I’m very attracted by bubbles

7- Share your successes in wine making: awards, prizes...
I am a humble person, and I usually do not pride myself on awards and achievements, even if the best of awards is that of consumers when they choose you from hundreds and hundreds of bottles.
If I really have to get out of balance, a result of which I am proud is that of bringing together all the wine guides and magazines year after year.

8 - May I ask you to take one or 2-3 photos of your favorite places?

Elena Fucci vineyards

Elena Fucci vineyards

The famous extinct volcano Mount Vulture, its area is comparable to the area of Vesuvius - 27 sq. km

Mount Vulture view

9 - Is there any reliable data on the last eruption of your volcano?
The volcano Vulture was active until the upper Pleistocene, that is, up to about 130,000 years ago, with long periods of quiescence. Secondary volcanic phenomena also occurred in contemporary times, up to 1820.

10 --Yellow Road - blog about white wines -
Which white wine producer (from Italy or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?

I think the best are for the production of white wines in Italy are: Alto Adige, Friuli and Campania.
But there i salso a good expression in each region of Italy. One of my preferred are the Sauvignon Blanc of Gaja.
11 - Do you have time for any cultural events?
Unfortunately, the work of winemaker is very hard and with little free time. So holiday and other type of activities are very hard to have.

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road"
If you are not new to finding information on the Internet, you have probably come across the text that I quote below ...
...""The richness and variety of the scenery are not the only unique elements that characterize the area’s pristine terrain; there is also the enogastronomic production, indeed one of Val d'Orcia's primary fortes. Such includes the cacio pecorino of Pienza, the honey from Val d'Orcia, extra-virgin olive oil from Castiglione d'Orcia, the salames of Cinta Senese, as well as mushrooms, truffles, and everything else that is, of course, accompanied by the most famous wine in the world - Brunello di Montalcino"."

Map of Tuscany with Val d'Orcia

Famous photo from Val d'Orcia

We'll talk more about the unique valley Val d'Orcia Valley, the pearl of Tuscany, but today we have a meeting on the Yellow Road with Luciano Rapiti, a representative of the company that makes the wonderful wine Montecucco DOC. The company is located in Val d'Orcia in Tuscany. If we compare Brunello di Montalcino with Montecucco, then we (wine Montecucco) have not tried it yet, but Luciano says that it is excellent. And not inferior to the famous Brunello. It’s not customary to doubt what the company’s representative says -becose we work on the Yellow Road exclusively on trust.
In the vineyards of Assolati

Farmhouse Assolati

And before we start talking about wine, let's get acquainted with the menu of the Assolati farmhouse, where Luciano's mother, Daniela, works as the main chef. Luciano sent four photographs, and so as not to miss anything, I put all four here.

Soup "Acquacotta"

"Acquacotta" is Maremma's peasant cuisine soup. It is another version of ribollite (the famous vegetable soup typical of Tuscany). Soup that can be prepared from various vegetables, depending on the season. Tomato with the remaining stale bread and egg on the surface to combine it in one dish. Water for this soup was drawn from the purest mountain streams ... And it was boiled with local aromatic herbs before laying vegetables.
Tortelli from Maremma

Tortelli from Maremma is a typical local holiday dish, different from regular ravioli, in size and special filling with homemade pasta stuffed with sheep ricotta and spinach, seasoned with meat sauce.
Pichi Pasta

Another typical local dish is fresh pasta, such as large spaghetti, but handmade (flour is kneaded only on water), which makes them very soft and easily absorb various dressings.
And two typical seasonings: with garlic and tomatoes, or with meat sauce
Wild boar meat dish

Maremmans - are hunters and are very fond of wild boar meat. Boar dishes are on the menu all year round, but to try the real taste of this meat, I recommend trying it in the fall or winter when the hunting season is open. In fact, during this period, wild boar meat is prepared by almost all known methods, the most traditional. Wild boar is a wild animal, very common in the area; compared to pork, the taste is more saturated, but the meat is less fat. Wild boar meat is cooked over a very low heat, with the addition of a small amount of tomatoes and aromatic spices for meat. Pre marinate him in vinegar to remove the "wild" aroma of the animal.

Interview with Luciano Rapiti, Representative of Assolati

1 - Luciano, tell us a little about yourself, why did you become a winemaker?

I was born and raised here on this farm, bought by my grandfather many years ago. From a young age I was attracted by this beautiful land and its unusual "perfume". In 1998, our DOC Montecucco, consortium for the protection of our vineyards, was born. I began to work as an agricultural expert, and then entered the Faculty of Agriculture of Viticulture and Oenology of the University of Florence. My passion and desire to learn the secrets of wine prompted me to choose this academic faculty in order to understand how the tannins, colors, and aromas of wine develop ...

View of the vineyard

View of the Val d'Orcia Valley

2 - Your farm is located in Montenero d'Orcia. What is the difference between this region and other regions of Tuscany?
Our company is located in the heart of the Montecucco wine region in Montecucco a Montenero d'Orcia. In terms of landscape, Podere Assolati has a characteristic location where the mountains meet the valley in order to "connect" into one whole. D'Orcia, Amiata and the nature of Maremma (D'Orcia, Amiata e Maremma) is a land of extraordinary "sweetness," rich in thermal springs, which offers roads and trails that pass through chestnut and beech forests, crossing the vineyards of Montecucco and Brunello di Montalcino.

3 - You offer to use the half board service. What is included in this service?

Farmhouse "Assolati" offers its customers a vacation (you can use the half board), which includes breakfast and dinner. On the menu we offer dishes of our region, and mainly use seasonal dishes.

4 - Please tell us about your kitchen. Who is cooking there?
Like the whole company, the farm belongs to the family. The main chef is my mother Daniela, who, in addition to offering our customers traditional Italian dishes, uses products that we produce ourselves. Such as meat, eggs, bread, vegetables, wine, olive oil, etc.
Red wine ASSOLATI(Assolati, Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG)


White wine DIONIS(Tuscan IGT Vermentino Dionysos)

5 - If possible, list a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white), which, in your opinion, can adequately represent your farm.
We have different combinations of wines. We can start with the Tuscan IGT Vermentino Dionysos. Rosso DOC Montecucco 2016. Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG Riserva 2015. These wines are featured in major Italian wine reviews such as Gambero Rosso and Vini Buoni d.Italia

One of the Assolati Awards

6 - Share your winemaking successes, if any. Awards, prizes ...

The company participated in two competitions in Germany, and in 2019 (Gambero Rosso) reached the final with 3 red glasses with 2 red glasses. The maximum score for wine!

Still life...

and landscape from Assolati

7 - Do you have time for any cultural events?

Of course, we are pleased to welcome cultural events. Such as an art exhibition or book presentation.

8 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?

9 - What white wine producer (from Italy or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road"
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.

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 ...


• 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

- Silver. Source rouge 2011

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:

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:

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".
Jalal Nakad, the Master Distiller and wine maker , studied in France Oenology, and he has been in charge since 2012

Grapes from Lebanon, Bekaa Valley

Chateau Nakad, it’s the first Lebanese family owned winery in Lebanon, established by Joseph Nakad
Salim Nakad

Winery History in Pictures (1)

Winery History in Pictures (2)

Yellow Road Questions answered by Lara Nakad, Marketing Manager

1 - Why is your vineyard called “Chateau Nakad?”

It’s our Inherited Family Name

2 - Please tell us a little about yourself
The story of Château Nakad is first and foremost that of a family, of three generations of winemakers from the Bekaa Valley, whose blood runs with passion for soil, wine and grapes.
In 1923, during the French Mandate in Lebanon, Joseph Nakad’s wine became a favorite among France’s deployed soldiers. The contingent commissioned large quantities of his fresh and lively vintages to lift the spirits of the troops.
Then, his son Salim took over the business. In his hands Château Nakad became one of the leading enterprises on the Lebanese wine scene.
Today, Joseph’s grandchildren, guided by their father Salim, are ensuring the prosperity of the label, consolidating its reputation both within Lebanon and on the international wine market.
The winery is located in the village of Jdita/Chtaura, in the Bekaa Valley, near the most fertile farmlands of the region. More importantly, it is built on the remains of wine cellars dating back to the Bronze Age.
The Nakad family currently produces red, rosé, white and sweet wine as well as the traditional Lebanese anisette liquor, Arak As-Samir. Another outstanding recent creation is the winery’s very own Afandello, an artisanal orange-flavored liquor.
Another recent masterpiece, is the MISK, a mastiha liquor

3 - There are no restaurants in Jdita, can tourists have a bite to eat at the winery?
There are restaurants in Jdita, Chtaura and Zahle; the Bekaa is a Touristic destination

4 - Which tasty traditional food in the Bekaa Valley?
All Lebanese Food, Mezze, Tabbouli, Fattoush, Best Grilled Meat “Mashawi”
Lebanese Restaurant in Vancouver Canada

Lebanese Restaurant in Vancouver Canada

Lebanese Restaurant in Vancouver Canada

5 - What is your favorite wine (red or white)? And why?
I like both Red and White, however I am more into the red wine: full bodied, balanced and aromatic

6 - List, if possible, a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white), which, in your opinion, may be worthy of the presentation of your farm
Wines from Chateau Nakad

7- Share your successes in winemaking: awards, prizes...
We were the only Lebanese winery to win the GRAND GOLD medal in SMV Canada; others: Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (Gold), FIWA (Gold), BRWSC (Gold)

8 - 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?
Our vineyards are located on the Hills of the Bekaa Valley.
In producing our wine we work meticulously to select the finest grapes and the varietals (cépage). Quality is always our chief consideration.
“Coteaux de la Bekaa,” written on our label, and meaning vineyards grown on the slopes of the Bekaa, highlights the uniqueness of our chosen terroir. Our hill-grown grapes produce wines with distinct aromas and flavors. Unlike vines grown on the Bekaa’s plains, the drainage of the hills limits the dilution of our grapes’ flavor. This rare grape selection helps enable us to produce extraordinary wines that add real diversity to a fast-growing wine industry in Lebanon

9 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?
Our White Wine Bloom

Bloom White Wine...

and Rose Wine

10- If it's not a secret, tell us about your plans for the future
We are Honored to maintain our Heritage and expand our export market

11 - What white wine producer (from Lebanon or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?
This is a matter of taste, I like Full Bodied White Wines, enriched on their lees.
Chateau Flowers

and Fruits...

Festivals photos...

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road"
New guest from Lebanon on the Yellow Road
The Aurora winery is located 60 kilometres north of Beirut, in the eastern Mediterranean mountains of Batroun. Founded in 2006 by a passionate oenologist from the small village of Rachkedde, the winery began as a weekend hobby. Today, Aurora is a boutique winery using modern and eco-friendly techniques, producing up to 20,000 bottles of wine per year.
Batroun, Bhamdoun and the Bekaa Valley. Each region is known for its amazing quality of red, white and sparkling wines.

Harvesting in the Aurora vineyards

Northern Lebanon

Yellow Road Questions answered by Andrea Geara, Aurora winery

1 - Why is your vineyard called “Aurora Winery”
The name Aurora is inspired by the village where the vines are grown "Aoura" in the northern mediterranean mountains of Lebanon. Aurora Also refers to the first light in the sky before sunrise, the dawn or l'Aurore in Latin.

2 - Andrea, please tell us a little about yourself
I am the daughter of the founder and winemaker, so the second generation responsible for Aurora Winery.
I have always been interested in winemaking, joining the harvest every fall. As I grew older I was inspired by wine as a product of passion, and I joined the team end of 2014 after I decided to shift my career from social development.
Back then, we were producing close to 7000 bottles per year, we were a garage wine. In 2015, My father and I made the decision to grow Aurora in a very solid and stable way. Ever since, we have been growing to produce around 20,000 bottles a year.

Aurora Mountain Vineyards

3 - Rachkideh is already Northern Lebanon, and not the Bekaa Valley. What is the difference between the wines of Northern Lebanon and the wines of the Bekaa Valley?
First, we are a mountain wine, as opposed to Bekaa which is a valley or a plane. Our microclimate differs quite a bit. Most importantly, the mountain enjoys a steady change in temperature between night and day, temperatures do not vary too much throughout the day. We also do not experience frost or extreme temperatures, because although we are at 900m altitude, we are still close to the mediterranean. This is ideal for steady slow grape maturity, which helps us develop a nice complexity in the wines even though our yields might be lower. Batroun, the northern wine region, is known to produce boutique wines, wines that are hard to find and produce. Similar to how we compare Napa and Oregon, or Burgundy and Bordeaux. Winery sizes are relatively smaller. In addition, Aurora Winery has a particular style in which we focus on highlighting our terroir. This is done by picking at lower sugar levels to encourage higher acidity and lower alcohol percentages, and through producing single varietals. Because we are on a slope, the vineyards need to be planted on terraces to retain rainwater.

4 - Which tasty traditional food in the Northern Lebanon?
1. Tebleh, raw kibbe (goat meat) very finely grinded with spices
2. maakroun bi toum, (Mountain Gnocchi in raw Garlic sauce)
see link
3. Tabbouleh of Course
Winery Tasting

Raw Meat Dishes

5 - What is your favorite wine (red or white)? And why?

I do not have a single wine that I prefer, because each setting calls for a different wine, but usually my go to wine is Red wine, particularly a good bordeaux blend. Classic, well balanced, and always satisfies my craving. Cabernet Sauvignon, merlot, with a touch of Cabernet Franc sometimes.

6 - List, if possible, a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white), which, in your opinion, may be worthy of the presentation of your farm.
What typically represents Aurora are our four main wines. Mainly, our first wine, The Chateau (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), Cabernet Franc 100%, Crystal (Chardonnay), Cuvee N (Sauvignon Blanc), and Pinot Noir
Cabernet Franc 100%

Crystal (Chardonnay)

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

Decanter 90 points for the Cabernet Franc at the World wine Awards, Silver Medal
Gold Medal for the Chateau at the Gilbert et Gaillard Tasting
Jeune Talent back when we first started at the local wine tasting in 2009
Still life number 1 (with Pinot Noir)

Still life number 2 (with a snack)

Still life number 3...

8 - 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?

9 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?
Aurora Chardonnay, it is our first white wine to be produced. We called it Crystal, because of its clarity and brightness.

10- If it's not a secret, tell us about your plans for the future ....
Our aim is to put Lebanon on the map in the world of wine. Since we started, we have been working on producing unique atypical wines with plenty of character. Therefore, our plan is to continue adding wines to are portfolio that stand out.
Next year we will be producing an oaked Chardonnay, this is a wine we are very excited about.

11 - What white wine producer (from Lebanon or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?
I tried a white wine from Austria back in 2018, it was also quite special. It was from Emmerich Knoll I believe it was their Riesling.

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road"
Girls in the vineyard of WARDY Winery

The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbeck

For the first time on the Yellow Road, winemakers from Lebanon, Bekaa Valley.
Lebanon, in ancient times Phenicia, is considered the most likely homeland of wine. In the ancient world, it was the Phoenician wine, long before the glory of phalern, Cypriot and Chios wines, that was considered the best and most desirable product for the Egyptian, Greek, and then Roman nobility.

Zahlé is the capital and the largest city of Beqaa Governorate, Lebanon. With around 120,000 inhabitants, it is the third largest city in Lebanon after Beirut and Tripoli.
Zahlé is located 55 km east of the capital Beirut, close to the Beirut-Damascus road, and lies at the junction of the Lebanon mountains and the Beqaa plateau, at a mean elevation of 1,000 m. Zahlé is known as the "Bride of the Beqaa" and "the Neighbor of the Gorge" for its geographical location and attractiveness, but also as "the City of Wine and Poetry"It is famous throughout Lebanon and the region for its pleasant climate, numerous riverside restaurants and quality arak. Its inhabitants are predominantly Greek Catholic and are known as Zahlawis.
Zahlé - "the City of Wine and Poetry"

Yellow Road Questions answered by Khalil WARDY, General Manager

1 - The western Beqaa Valley in Lebanon, stretching between the mountain ranges of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, has been home to the vine for 6000 years ... Probably these were the oldest vineyards in the world?
Your vineyards are in the Beqaa Valley. Is the Beqaa Valley located at an altitude of 900 - 1000 meters above sea level? What is the beauty of wine made from grapes grown at such a height?

Geologically speaking the Beqaa Valley is a continuation of the fault that separated Africa from Asia… Red Sea – Dead Sea – Jordan Valley – Beqaa Valley.
It’s a high altitude plateau of 900-1200 meters above sea level separating the two mountain ranges of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon that act as boundaries protecting the valley from the Mediterranean humidity to the west and desert heat to the east.
It receives enough rain in winter to nourish the many springs and subterranean water supply that is used for irrigation during the dry summer months.
The valley was the main source of grains to the Eastern Roman empire. It also produced grapes and opium. All three produce are carved on the entrance of the great temple of Bacchus, the god of wine, at Baalbeck; and all remain after more than 2000 years the main three produce of the Beqaa Valley… 2 legally and the 3rd illegally.
The entrance of the Temple of Bacchus at Baalbeck

The Beqaa Governorate constitutes the valley floor as well as the slopes of the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges, which rise to an altitude of 2800m above sea level.

The Mediterranean climate, rainy and snowy in winter but completely dry in summer, with a large diurnal range is perfect for growing grapes. During the growing season temperatures can reach the mid 30s during the day thus achieving full ripening of the fruits, and drop down to the teens during the night thus retaining some acidity and freshness.
Our vineyards are mainly located in the central Beqaa around the city of Zahle, although we do have some in the Western Beqaa to the south and the Northern Beqaa next to the ancient city of Baalbeck. We have plans to plant new vineyards in 2020-2022 at high altitudes (1400m and above) on the eastern and western slopes. Once all these vineyards are planted we will have 35 hectares of vines.
The newly planted Sauvignon Blanc

2 - You are the fourth generation winemakers, but your winery is only 21 years old. Was your vineyard elsewhere? And why did you come to the Beqaa Valley?
We can trace our history in wine and arak making back to our great grandfather (from my mothers’ side of the family) who started a winery and distillery in Zahle in 1881. Both our parents’ families were involved in agriculture, arak, wine and food.
Khalil's grandfather at his winery in Aleppo, Syria

Our grandfather moved to Aleppo in Syria and started a winery/distillery over there while my father emigrated to Australia and opened a restaurant in Sydney. On his return he became a partner in Lebanon leading arak company “Gantous & Abou Raad” (established in 1893); we started producing wine in 1997 after we bought the full shares of the “Gantous & Abou Raad” company.
During a wine tasting visit

3- Dear Khalil, have you dreamed of becoming a winemaker from a young age? Or your choice was formed in more mature years?

Our winemaker is Diana Salameh Khalil who studied and worked in Burgundy before joining
our team in 2002.

4 - I want to acquaint readers of the Yellow Road with your achievements. Could you comment on several awards whose logos are posted on your site
New Awards at the Wardy winery

Over the years our wines and araks have won around 200 medals and awards in international competitions, we are particularly proud of the IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition) Trophy we won this year for our Indigenous grape white wine Obeidi.
A selection of our single-variety wines

5 - Please tell about your program: Domaine Wardy Club
The Domaine Wardy Club is designed for people who wish to buy online from our website and commit to three orders per year, they become our club members and will get their wines delivered to their address in Lebanon, they will also be entitled to discounts and have priority access to museum stock and special events.

6 - I have a standard question: List, if possible, a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white), which, in your opinion, can decorate the "poster" of your farm.
But you have an interesting set of DW - 6Pack Club ... And what kind of wine is this in a tall yellow bottle?
Since 2019, you have changed labels on wines. For example, I really liked your “old” label on Beqaa Valley Red. Will the “old” labels remain on any bottles?

In 2018 we decided that the brand needs a major facelift and started working with the designer Tarek Atrissi who created a new logo for the brand as well as new labels for the wines (work still in progress).
We produce 4 sets of wines: Single-varieties, unoaked blends, oaked blends, limited editions.
The Single-varieties: eventually will be a set of 9 wines: 4 whites – Chardonnay, Obeidi, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier; 5 reds – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo.
The labels for this set are intended to give as much information about each variety as possible.
The design, Middle-eastern mosaics indicating the origin of the wine – Lebanon.
The colors of each are related to the aromatic and flavor profile for each variety.
The wood texture, or lack of it, indicates whether the wine has been oaked or not.

Traditional Lebanese mosaics

The Sauvignon Blanc design image

The first seven of the single variety set

The unoaked blends: a set of 3 wines – white, red and rosé.
The labels are color-coded, inspired by vine tendrils and spell “Wardy” in Arabic.
The un-oaked blends

The oaked blends: Chateau les Cedres (red) and Perle du Chateau (white), yet to be re-designed.
The oaked blends

The limited editions: Private Selection Red, an unfiltered blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; Private Selection White (still in the old label), a wonderfully aromatic blend of Muscat and Viognier.
The limited editions

All the bottles will be unified by an artisanal rose (Wardy means rose in Arabic) in honor of our great-great-grand mother who was the matriarch of the family and whose first name was Wardy.

7 - Your vineyard is located next to Zahle City. Can it be reached on foot? Are there any restrictions on travellers in Lebanon these days?

Our winery and some of the vineyards are in and around the city of Zahle, the capital of the Beqaa. They are easily accessible, and we welcome visitors for wine tasting at our cellar in winter and at our vineyards in summer. The summer venue is a Bedouin tent that we erect in the vineyards next to our Arabian-horse stables (Wardy Stud).
Wardy Stud Arabian horses

8 - What is your choice for the Yellow Road?
For the Yellow Road, I will definitely choose our award-winning Obeidi in its two incarnations: as an oaked single-variety, and as part of our Beqaa Valley White unoaked blend (Obeidi-Viognier-Sauvignon Blanc).

9 - Which white wine producer (from Lebanon or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?
I’m very fond of an Australian Marsanne by Tahbilk winery, especially the “1927 vines Marsanne”.

10 - Do you have time for any cultural events?

Several years ago we commissioned artists to paint on our Jeroboam bottles that were auctioned at an impressive event, proceeds of which went for the Lebanese Red Cross and Syrian refugees, an event that we would like to repeat again.

The 2019 harvest

The Obeidi vineyards

I thank Rima Wardy, Managing Partner,
for helping prepare this publication.

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road".
La Scolca and Bentley, together to toast to one hundred years of excellence lived with style, dynamism and passion.

Good news from Milan:
La Scolca winery celebrated its centenary with Bentley. Charming Chiara Soldati, the owner of a world-famous winery La Scolca with the Gavi Golden Bottle of the Gavi Black Label®
Our congratulations!

La Scolca and Bentley celebrated together - with the Gavi Golden Bottle of the Gavi Black Label®, the limited edition La Scolca created specifically for the centenary - the launch of the new Bentley Flying Spur presented on 6 November at Bentley's showroom in Milan, at a select audience of guests for an exclusive and refined event.

Excellence, style, dynamism and passion that go beyond time, fashions and boundaries. Two iconic brands that have been able to compete and conquer international markets thanks to their constant attention to innovation, technology and modernity, without sacrificing the taste for tradition and the expertise of artisans in the vineyard and in the factory.

Winery La Scolca - the very first participant in our project "Yellow Road"
Garnatxa del Po falls to a depth of 2 meters

Garnatxa del Po on the surface of the earth

Yellow Road Questions answered by Ruben Sabaté, CELLER CLOS93
A small interview with a small winery from a small Spanish town

1 - Why does your vineyard have such an unusual name CLOS93?
clos93 means that it is a family winery and that the vineyards are only property
Clos 93 vineyard view

2 - Please tell us about yourself and your role at the winery?
3 - You have a small production. If not a secret, how many bottles of wine do you produce per year?
14.000 bottles.
4 - And how to survive such a small enterprise? Does your olive oil help?
In addition to my personal and family project in clos93 I advise on other wineries
Bodega clos93, celler

Clos 93 Winery Set

5 - I liked both the shape of the bottles and the design of the labels. And who is the author of your design?
Yes, both the idea and the design of all the labels and images of the winery are mine

6 - This is not to say that you have cheap wines. But Garnatxa del Po costs 120 euros per bottle. Is this price due to a small circulation?
The price is marked by its exclusivity worldwide, there is only one ... worldwide. In addition, its elaboration is very careful and laborious since it is buried 2 meters deep underground in the vineyard, the cork used for this is the most expensive in the market, its packaging is also very careful and original, since its individual box is of clay made one by one manually by a craftsman potter. only 85 bottles sold almost all before coming to light.
El Lloar, Tarragona

Bodega clos93, evening

7- And what is interesting about your other wines?
Each wine has its personal touch and they are worked differently, not only the varieties, but also the techniques used in both the vineyard and the winery

8 - You have the service "Wine Tourism". What dishes do you offer for wine?
9 - 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?
10 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?
Vi de vila del Lloar

11 - What white wine producer (from Spain or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?

Clos Dominic White

12 - Do you think, for example, an exclusive sculpture could decorate your winery?

In my cellar are the best sculptures ... they are the old tools that my ancestors used to work the vineyard.

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road"
The author on the background of his own work, October 2019

In Lithuania - the first monument to M. Cervantes!

The Obzor newspaper in Vilnius came out with the same headline. This newspaper is published in Russian in Lithuania. I am posting an article by the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Alexander Shahov, who reported on the Mažoji galerija in the early days of October.

"At the beginning of this week, a monument to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the world-famous Spanish writer, was inaugurated in Vilnius. The first in Lithuania!
This significant event in the field of culture was timed to the birthday of the author of the great Don Quixote.
Many residents of the Lithuanian capital, who consider themselves highly educated and culturally developed, may probably be surprised: how did they miss this fact!
No wonder! The opening of the monument in the Vilnius gallery “Mažoji galerija” was not reported in the news of the main television channels of Lithuania, the leading Lithuanian newspapers did not utter a word.
Most likely, they were embarrassed that the monument to the great Spaniard was made ... of plywood. Thick, three-centimeter, but still plywood.

But when you find out that the author of this unusual composition is the Vilnius artist and sculptor Sergey Evtuhov, who opened to us, as Obzor recently wrote, absolutely incredible pages from the life of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, possible questions disappear immediately. "

Cervantes. First trip to the city

At the ceremony of presentation of the monument to M.Servantes S.Evtuhov mentioned two important points that greatly help to understand his work.
Sergey admitted that his favorite writers are Miguel Cervantes and Daniil Harms, and that the “parent” Don Quixote could not help but invest in the character of the hidalgo, in his attitude to the world, a considerable part of himself.
Perhaps the same can be said about the works of Sergey Evtuhov himself.
Here, say, an unusual solution to the monument to Cervantes: a flying horse and his horseman, standing firmly on the ground.
An impulse, a departure from everything ordinary and imposed, earthly? But the composition at the same time stands firmly on the ground with the feet of the same rider.

So S. Evtuhov, as if hovering above the earth on a horse of absurdity, is at the same time firmly standing on the ground. He simply suggests that we, following Harms’s example, not obey the stereotypes humbly imposed on us and invented by someone the rules of proper behavior, but create our own Universe, always be a creator, like an unbending Cervantes.
By the way, in the composition there is another curious symbol - the disproportionately small sword. S. Evtukhov explained its meaning, but each of us can have its own explanation. Why shouldn't we become creators, following the advice of the author of the first monument in Lithuania M. Servantes?

Cervantes at Vilnius Gallery «Mažoji galerija»(1)

Cervantes at Vilnius Gallery «Mažoji galerija»(2)

During the presentation of the plywood Cervantes, the author of the monument told the audience that books with the adventures of a cunning hidalgo, it turns out, are second only to the Bible in circulation. This alone makes us wonder: is it worth to consider Don Quixote simply, as they say now, a "fun"? However, we hope that only a small number of people who read the novel treat this way today. And those who have not yet met hidalgo and his faithful Sancho Pansa should obviously think about a more productive use of their free time.

The first (and only) sketch

... and the original

Separately, it is worth emphasizing that in his opening remarks Sergey tried to name all those who helped him in realizing his next “Harms” idea. By the way, you should not, having trusted, as it were, the absolutely simple appearance of the composition, conclude that all the difficulty and time involved in the implementation of this project consisted exclusively in sawing out the “monument” with a jig saw.
Initially, an idea was born, and it was back in 2015. And for four years it crystallized in the author’s head. And then, after consulting with an expert in the field of woodworking, a “monument” began to be born. Or - a monument, without any quotation marks".

                                                                     Alexander SHAHOV ,

Master Eugenius Kubilius and Nodarius Turchinavicius (owner of the van) on the background of the van on which the Cervantes set off on his first journey

Victor Drozdov, chief pilot, head of the flight school, actively sympathizing with my work and offering to deliver Cervantes to Mažoji galerija by helicopter

Volanda, mistress of “Mažoji galerija”, where the first monument to M. Cervantes in Lithuania first appeared in public

The first tourists from Israel to "Mažoji galerija" at the first monument to Cervantes (Miguel)

Links to articles in the Obzor newspaper

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road".
Joan & Teresa

This team - Joan and Teresa

Joan and Teresa are the soul of Carol Valles. They started the adventure. They forced her to be born with effort and sacrifice, and years later they reaped their rewards. Joan Carol, leading her and Theresa Valles, is always by her side.
Joan, after a long tradition of making cava for the family, decided to start her marketing in 1996. Always with the same philosophy: a long time aging cava and following the traditional method. He was the one who led the winery for the past 21 years. Who endowed her with a unique personality that characterizes Carol Valles: respect for nature, patience in development and respect for the territory.
Teresa, a school teacher, was always with Joan. Do what was necessary. Fitting, going to fairs, cleaning bottles until late at night, developing labels or accepting orders in private homes and commercial premises.
This team - Joan and Teresa - created what is now called Carol Valles.
Theresa Valles and Joan Carol , is always by her side.
Joan and Teresa are the soul of Carol Valles. They started the adventure. They forced her to be born with effort and sacrifice, and years later they reaped their rewards. Joan Carol, leading her and Theresa Valles, is always by her side.
Joan, after a long tradition of making cava for the family, decided to start her marketing in 1996. Always with the same philosophy: a long time aging cava and following the traditional method. He was the one who led the winery for the past 21 years. Who endowed her with a unique personality that characterizes Carol Valles: respect for nature, patience in development and respect for the territory.
Teresa, a school teacher, was always with Joan. Do what was necessary. Fitting, going to fairs, cleaning bottles until late at night, developing labels or accepting orders in private homes and commercial premises.
This team - Joan and Teresa - created what is now called Carol Valles.
Theresa Valles and Joan Carol , is always by her side.

Bodega Cellers Carol Walles

In the history of the Yellow Road, this is not the first time a special guest has appeared. So one guest was from Sicily, a producer of unique olive oil. One guest from Tuscany: olive oil and a school of culinary excellence. The producer of red wine from Gorgana (Italy), who would like to produce white, but the grapes are not the same. But our guest today has white wine. And this wine even has yellow-green notes. But all the wines at the Cellers Carol Walles winery are sparkling. Therefore, to begin with, we decided to arrange a meeting with this Spanish winery under the heading: Special guests.

Why do you produce only sparkling wines?
(the representative of the winery "Cellers Carol Walles" Nil Surià answers my question)

We are a very small cellar focused on the production of very long aged high quality cavas. The fact that we focus on this very specific type of wines has one main reason: our wine region has a very old tradition of producing cava. This type of sparkling was very typically produced by farmers for their own consumption with the vines owned by the family. With time, this very artisanal wines ended up being commercialized. In our cellars, we try to keep this artisanal origins, keeping many manual processes. The aim to produce high quality artisanal cavas make it necessary to focus on a very specific product.

Still life with Pit-Roig

Guillem Carol Gran Reserva Extra Brut

Still life with Guillem Carol Gran Reserva Extra Brut

Gran Reserva Familiar Millenium 2011

It is impossible to list here all the activities that the life of the winery is rich in:

Joan Carol will cook there in the courtyard of the winery, an assortment of seasonal mushrooms. After visiting the vineyards, the cellar, you can prepare an appetizer paired with three of the collection caves: Pit Roig, Pink Brut, Nature Reserve 2017, Pica Socks brut nature Gran Reserva 2015 and Gran Reserva Familiar Millenium 2019.

Joan Carol will cook there

an assortment of seasonal mushrooms

Between breakfast and lunch: brunch. And with KM0 products! The perfect combination in a privileged environment: vineyards. At Carol Vallès you will be offered the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic breakfast between the vineyards, combined with a guided tour of the cellar and its vineyards, where you can see every detail of the artisan cellar production process. The visit begins at the place where the long path of cava begins, with a guided tour of the ecological vineyards with late traditional cold meats among the vineyards. This activity will allow you to plunge into the history of Cava and the culture of its preparation, as well as enjoy breakfast with local products next to the impressive cellar vineyards.
Between breakfast and lunch: brunch

with a guided tour of the ecological vineyards

This activity will allow you to plunge into the history of Cava

If you like sweets and cava, you will not want to miss this. During this tasting, you will be offered to try the most unique caves paired with various sweets.

At this tasting, you will combine different hams with the most exclusive Carol Vallès caverns. You will discover the taste of acorn ham during a fun tasting and learn interesting facts about this world famous traditional meat.

And evenings of live music in the courtyard of the winery...
An evening of live music...

and Fantastic Land

I thank
Nil Surià, spokesman for Bodega Cellers Carol Walles, for helping prepare this publication.
and site - - partner of this publication on the "Yellow Road"

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road".
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