Yellow Road

Luís Quinas Guerra[

“Each of our wines are different aspects of life, extensions of ourselves, of our soul. They are the various moments in which opening a bottle makes every sense. That is the beauty of the Douro: its ability to deliver elegant, complex, distinct wines.”
Luís Quinas Guerra

João Monteiro (Quinta do Beijo), owner of a large winery in the Douro Valley, named Gueda winery one of the best white wine producers in Portugal. Therefore, the owner of Gueda, Luis Quinas Guerra, is our guest today.

Interview with Luis Quinas Guerra on the "Yellow Road"

Panorama with the Gueda vineyards

1 - Please tell us about yourself, why did you continue the family tradition?
My family has a very long tradition in the wine business in the Douro Valley. Gueda, our wine brand, is actually the given name of a X century farmer, our ancestor, who owned the same land we are located but pinpointing a date for the beginning of the involvement of my ancestors in this activities is hard. We do know that even before the original demarcation of the Douro Valley dated from 1756, family members and direct ancestors had been growing grapes and making their wines in the region.
In the middle of the last century, due to several reasons related to the business model of the region, my family stopped producing wines only to be resumed some 50 years later as me and my sister Margarida were in the process of modernizing agricultural aspects of the estate and diversifying its turistic appeal after my father passed away 4 years before.
It was his dream and now is ours to bring life to a neglected estate manor house, hence Casa do Romezal B&B, and recreate amazing products that showed our identity, Gueda.
Since 2012 I have been testing our several micro-terroirs to produce small and unique batches of wine that show our diversity in terms of vineyard characteristics and yearly influence.
I am a trained pharmacist that steered out of the normal path and decided instead on applying that knowledge in a new career that gives me not only the joy of sharing my passion for this land but also for its fantastic wines.

Still life from Gueda(Casa do Romezal).

Baby goat cooked by Margarida

2 - João Monteiro (Quinta do Beijo) named you as one of the best white wine producers in Portugal, how many years did it take you to achieve such results?
I am extremely humbled by these words of João, whose wines are also fantastic examples of a different section of the Douro Valley. We started micro production in 2012 and in 2015 were confidant about our results to launch a first Gueda White, followed by the long ago sold out 2015, 2017 and 2018. 2019 marks a new age in our Winery by the
simultaneous launch of a White and a Reserve White. I believe that the success of our Whites has its roots on how wise the choice of planted varieties were back in the 1990's when my father was in charge. We now enjoy mature vineyards, all field blends of several native cépage, fantastic location and huge range in altitude and soil characteristics.
We can then use that to our advantage and deliver to our drinkers a quirk, novel approach to winemaking in the Douro which is a lot more micro-terroir based that taste engineering by blend. In essence, Nature rules and we steer the production to bring the best out of every plot of land.

3 - A very simple question: what is your favorite wine?
Of all the wines we produce, I would have to say that our new 2019 White Reserve takes the top. It has become a staple of our winery to always produce these wines when conditions are just right and 2019 was such a year.
It took us some time to venture into ageeing Whites as our standard unoaked White had such a success but the time has come. Grapefruit, apricot and dates, accompanied by floral notes of linden and slight nuances of cocoa...
Gift set from Gueda

View of the Casa do Romezal estate

4 - If possible, list a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white), which, in your opinion, can represent your farm.
A wonderfull choice would be our Reserve White 2019, our Red Grand Reserve 2017 and our White Port. We ship directly to our clients throughout Europe and orders can be placed on our website at
However, to best understand our approach, our patrons often come back every now and then to check for update on our available wines. Boutique productions mean that eventually that particular edition of a wine will
be sold out to give way to a new vintage, unapologetic different from the year before.
The Douro has taken craft wine to new levels that are fun and unpretentious, just like our new generation of clients.


5 - A question for Margarida (another very simple question in this interview): what is your favorite dish?
My favorite dish is a very traditional Portuguese meat dish which is called oven roasted kid (baby goat). The kid is preferably cooked in a wood burning oven and it is usually served with small potatoes cooked in
the same tray in the oven. Additionally, a special rice recipe, "arroz de forno" (literally oven rice), is served alongside. A must-have in every Portuguese kitchen is the traditional dark clay pots produced in the Region where the rice cooks and is later presented. This recipe requires a previously made broth using several boiled cuts of meats and smoked
ham, giving the dish its characteristic aroma and taste. This kid and potatoes are seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices such as parsley, laurel, sweet chili, black pepper and garlic. Portugal cuisine incorporates a lot of sauteed vegetables with olive oil and garlic, so we definitely find a space on the plate to include them while
eating this dish. Seasoning and preparations should start the day before to achieve the end result: a wonderful meal!

6 - Can I taste this dish at Casa do Romesal?
You can taste this dish at Casa do Romezal, as long as previously requested, due to the preparation needed. We usually only cook dinners upon reservation for groups which occupy the 3 bedrooms of the house, so 6 people minimum.

7 - How much is your luxury double room?
Our double bedrooms are all available for 110€/night, with a minimum 2-night stay requirement. The house has 3 double suits, all equipped similarly although with different decoration, and several common areas to enjoy on an exclusive environment, in the middle of our vineyards.

White Port

and Red Grand Reserva

8 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?
Though our White Reserve 2019 has seduced me in every way, a fan favorite is our White Port and that is our choice for the "Yellow Road".
Try it out cold, on ice or mixed with tonic water and mint leaves. It's heaven!

On the terrace of Casa do Romesal

and Apartment with pool

9 - What white wine producer (from Portugal or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?
I recently visited Bordeux and the passion of M. Xavier de Pontac of Château de Myrat in Sauternes and the fantasying Grand Cru Classé produced in the estate made a lasting impression. That would be my recommendation.

10 - The westernmost point of the European part of the Yellow Road will naturally be in Portugal, where there will be a symbolic line (finish) of the European part. Is participation in this micro-project interesting for you?
Absolutely! We believe that a shared European awareness to local products is very important. Recent product certification such as Douro, Port AOC's and many other European wine regions, gaining interanion protection in new market such as China is a proof that the preservation of authenticity and quality is a fundamental and shared goal in our promotion. We believe in a winding road that connects us all and Douro, the most historic wine region in the country deserves such an honor.

Sergey Evtuhov,
author of the "Yellow Road" project
Vineyards overlooking Vesuvius
New Year's still life by Petra Marzia

In Campania in the Vallo di Lauro, Marzano di Nola, where Agostino and Andrea Nappi, two friends with the same surname, who live in the same street of the same town, born in the same place, in the same month and year, are also united by an identical passion: the wine. Thus was born the winemaking partnership aimed at planting a vineyard, which will bear fruit in the years to come, as old as the "stones of the Marzano coast": thus the Petra Marzia winery was born. Initially dedicated to the production of the homonymous wine Petra Marzia - produced in 2017 with a blend of 70% Casavecchia, 20% Aglianico and 10% Merlot grapes which, after 12 months in oak barrels, continues its maturation in the bottle - the new “wine artisans” (as they like to call themselves) have decided to implement the production, integrating it with two noble wines from Campania: Taurasi DOCG and Fiano di Avellino DOCG. Both united by an elegant label, they take the name of "Parlami", a Taurasi reserve with an unmistakable "Hellenic-Aglianico" flavor, and "Ramia", a fresh and pleasant Fiano that is enjoying great success in terms of quality and of its relationship with the price.

Petra Marzia in the first year in the bottle:- bronze medal to DWWA points 89- two stars Veronelli Seminary- three Grappoli Bibenda 2021.. and he is in degustation at Robert Parker.

Interview with Agostino and Andrea Nappi , owners of the winery Petra Marzia,

Positano in the evening

Praiano in the shade of a lemon tree

Praiano, bay view

1 - Your town of Marzano di Nola is very close to the famous Amalfi Coast and Salerno. Do you have a favorite spot on this coast?
The Amalfi coast, as well as the Sorrento peninsula, is about 40 km away: the most beautiful stretch of coast of the Amalfi Coast is in our opinion the final part, that is the stretch of coast that goes from Praiano to Positano, where the acrid perfume citrus fruits mix with the saltiness and the scents of the sea ...    

2 - What about your favorite restaurant or pizzeria on the beach?
La Tonnarella in Conca dei Marini (Amalfi coast)
La Tonnarella restaurant on the beach in Conca dei Marini
Vineyards Petra Marzia overlooking Vesuvius

3 - From what distance is Vesuvius visible?
Can we al so see the volcano from your vineyard Vesuvius is about 25/30 km away and from our vineyard you can enjoy an incomparable view of the whole Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples 

4 - Your company started with Petra Marzia wine - produced in 2017 with a blend of70% Casavecchia, 20% Aglianico and 10% Merlot grapes. Casavecchia is an extremely rare red grape variety (some researchers have hypothesized that Casavecchia is the same as the ancient Roman variety known as Trebulano, mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia). Given this fact, can we assume that your Petra Marzia wine production is quite modest?
Yes, we have an average production of about 4000 bottles for year.
Still life number 1 by Petra Marzia

Still life number 2 by Petra Marzia

5 - In the shops of Riga, Vilnius, it is quite easy to find the famous wines of northern Italian and Piedmont: Amarone, Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, but rarely famous southern wines: Taurasi, Fiano. What do you think: what is the reason fort his injustice?
We must start from an indisputable fact: Italy is one of the largest wine producing countries in the world and this is not surprising, given its position on the sea, the mild Mediterranean climate and a rather varied terroir that includes geographical scenarios of all types: mountains, sea, hills and flat areas. The wines of northern and central Italy are much more noble as the producers, traditionally "Savoy-Dante", began to deal with and therefore to haggle wines long ago. Marketing did the rest. All this does not want to take anything away from advertisers, they know how to do their job very well, undoubtedly an excellent wine, remaining practically unknown, is destined to remain an indigenous heritage, not to go beyond regional borders.

6 - So, another wine of yours, the famous wine of the Campania and Basilicata -Taurasi region. The first written document in which Aglianico is cited by Taurasi dates back to 1167, but also Tito Livio in his work Ab Urbe Condita noted "Taurasi from excellent vines" (we will refer directly to Livio Tito so that readers believe it faster, because if we refer to the opinion of some modern professor, well, for example, Luigi, who has his own vineyard, then some will have reasonable suspicions).
Taurasi is a wine that has its origins in the pre-Romanesque age: the main vine from which this wine is produced, Aglianico, was once called "Hellenic" to emphasize its Greek origin. In Campania it finds one of its best habitats, where it produces a medium-sized cluster, cylindrical-conical in shape, with around and blue grape. The etymology of the name "Taurasi" is to be found in Taurasi, the small village that the Romans made after defeating the Irpini during the III Punic War. Today the town of Taurasi, dominated by an ancient Lombard castle, enlarged by the Normans, is the center of the production of the homonymous red wine, the first historical evidence of which dates back to Tito Livio who spoke of "vigne optime". There are also several other historical citations referring to Aglianico in general and Taurasi in particular: at the end of the 16th century Andrea Bacci, physician of Pope Paul III, wrote that this wine "is prepared with rather dry grapes, made vigorous by the and preserved in excellent jars; it is there fore fragrant and sapid, pleasant to the taste, very pleasant and stable, with high nutritional power, invigorating for the stomach and limbs rather than an aperitif ".

The famous FIANO

And no less famous TAURASI

7 - Can I have a characterization of your Taurasi from you?
Our Taurasi Riserva has a particular characteristic, we have chosen the best grapes located north of Taurasi, those most exposed to sunlight, we have pampered them, matured them and transformed them into wine which rests for an aging period of4 years of which 18 months in large barrels.

7b - And how is your wine different from other Taurasi?
Our Taurasi is bottled only and exclusively after a long maturation and evolution with the wording RISERVA.

8 - Your choice (white wine) for the Yellow Road?
Campania offers white grape varieties of excellent quality: among these the Fiano di Avellino (DOCG) and the Greco di Tufo certainly stand out

9 - And, if not a secret, plans for the future?
We are planting a vineyard in the upper Irpinia and precisely in Carife, a small and beautiful village located about 750 meters above sea level, with a unique climate of its kind, a land where an oil with noble organoleptic qualities is al ready produced, defined by lovers, one of the best oils in the world: the Ravece. Our goal is to (re) produce Aglianico Antico, that is, the ancient redberry that is still found today in old, mostly family-run vineyards, which has a more intense color and more genuine, more ancient flavor. Our projects for the future, therefore, we want to grow with new labels, new elite products and expand to make our desire to work with nature and for nature known in other countries, trying to bring many young people closer to our project. We want to involve them.

10 - Which white wine producer (from Italy or another country) do you recommend for the Yellow Road?
Apart from our Ramia, a very high level Fiano di Avellino DOCG, ... among the lesser known but no less valid producers, we must certainly include Luigi Maffini (Sa) and Don Salvatore (Sa).

Sergey Evtuhov,
author of the "Yellow Road" project
Valle do Nídeo winery is a new member of the Yellow Road from Portugal.
I am grateful to Beatriz Caseiro , Export Manager, for her assistance in preparing this publication.
Vineyards of Valle do Nideo

Oenologist and Valle do Nideo owner Miguel Abrantes answers Yellow Road questions
Miguel Abrantes

1 - Let's start with the most beautiful bottle (for my taste) that I
saw in your photos? The label reads: Valle do Nídeo Reserva (Douro DOC).
Is this your best wine?

Is not my top wine, I have made some more special editions, but is
really my best recognized red wine. From vintage to vintage, I have
devoted my best skills in improving it.
As winemaker and due to my terroir in Douro Superior, i think my whites
result in elegant, fruity, and delicate wines. Valle do Nídeo collection
is well known by it. I made four white wines each one was a work of my
art as winemaker and as someone who knows the special characteristics of
the unique Douro Superior.

2 - You have 6 vineyards with fantastic views: QUINTA DO DANIEL, QUINTA
VERGEIRA and QUINTA DA VEIGA. And which of the vineyards is the is the
most "alpine"? Is there an observation deck there?

The “most alpine” is a place called Alto da Chã with 450 mts at Quinta
do Daniel, there we have a place that has an amazing view of the
vineyards and river.

3 - And the area of these vineyards is 200 hectares. Why do you need so
many vineyards?

Well, Douro was always in the Family, I am the third family generation
here. Some vineyards came from our ancestor’s others were my family and
myself investment around the years.
In Douro, we not only produce Valle do Nideo wines, as well we have some
parcels to produce the grapes for port wines producers with whom we have
a long and traditional business relationship.
Harvesting in the vineyards of Valle do Nideo

Grape bunches of a new harvest

Harvesting, Valle do Nideo

4 - And for all these 200 hectares (if I'm not mistaken) there is only
one boss - Miguel Abrantes. Did I count correctly?

Yes, this 200 Hectares belongs to me and my family.

5 - Portugal of my childhood - this is footballer Eusebio, it seems
number 10, but I don't remember exactly. And his goal from the penalty
spot to our great goalkeeper Yashin in the match for the 3rd place in
the World Championship.

Great player, now is Cristiano Ronaldo our football star, number 7
The label that started my acquaintance with Valle do Nideo

Still life from Valle do Nideo

7 - Your choice (white wine) for the Yellow Road
I have to choose my Valle do Nídeo Reserva White, because has an
excellent balance, the blend of the Douro grapes, Códega de Larinho,
Rabigato e Viosinho, enhanced by the aging in wood result creaminess,
aromatic depth, which results in a sublime experience.
Panorama with vineyards

The same view of the vineyards, but with the participation Valle do Nídeo Alvarinho/Viosinho
Valle do Nídeo Sauvignon Blanc
Valle do Nídeo Moscatel Galego Branco / Viosinho
Valle do Nídeo Códega de Larinho e Rabigato 

8 - Your vineyards are fantastically beautiful. Do you have your own
(walking) vineyard route?

Yes, Douro, the river side and the high vineyards are during the year a
live painting. In each time of the year the colours in vineyards change
and the river works as a mirror of the sky, all gathers in a unique calm
a peaceful environment, where nature and men work together.
This energy is unique in Douro. That´s why I invite everyone to
experience it, walk in our vineyards.
We have routes not only for us to access and take care of vineyards, but
also to wine tourism activities.
Eusebio and Yashin

Eusebio and Pele

9 - And why are the banks of the Douro River most suitable for

Because, It has a schists soil that maintains temperature during the
night giving a more regular maturation. Favorable to the development of
aromas and complexity.
Douro is also, versatile because the low altitude allows to produce
full-bodied wines with complex and more structured and complex aromas
and the high altitudes, allow wines with acidity and aromatics .

10 - Please share your successes?
For me success is doing what I love honouring my family routes in Douro
and seeing my wines from vintage to vintage being more recognize by the
customers in Portugal and worldwide. All these years, in Portugal we
have received several awards and recognitions. I was convinced this year
to go to awards abroad and was delightful to see my Valle do Nídeo
Alvarinho winning a gold medal at 27 th Mundus Vini Award 2020, first
because is a variety traditional in Vinho Verde region, that I took the
risk to plant it in Douro Superior.
View of the vineyards and the Douro River

Autumn in Valle do Nideo

11 - And, if not a secret, plans for the future
For the future in the vineyard we want to keep the work we have done the
latest years to improve our vineyards and terroirs, to maximize the
potential that nature gives us.
In the cellar we have some wine lots are in wood, to see what the
future, will decide them to be.
Our cellar and our new equipment’s to improve our quality, are in plan.

12 - Which white wine producer (from Portugal or another country)
do you recommend for the yellow road?

I recommend Quinta das Marias no Dão, Portugal, they have a great

Sergey Evtuhov,
author of the "Yellow Road" project
So, your plane has landed at Bergamo Airport, which is near Milan. In your plans, which, of course, will be adjusted in the course of events, there is a desire to visit Tuscany and swim in the Ligurian (or Tyrenian) Sea. Or, first you decide to swim in the sea and then visit Tuscany. You can go directly to Genoa and then the Ligurian Sea remains - this is it. Or you can rush to Parma, and only then turn to the sea towards La Spezia. Or drive even further to Bologna. But if evening comes soon, and you are already tired, then it is worth slowing down in Piacenza, which is only 70 kilometers from Milan. Yes, the "Genoese" road seems to be shorter, but, starting from Rapallo (towards Chiavari), such serpentines (!), that at night looking for adventure on the mountain slopes of Italy is a very risky activity. What to do in Piacenza itself? Here you will find many tips on the Internet without us. But nearby, 30 kilometers from the city of Piacenza, there is a small winery Mossi 1558 (or Cantina Mossi 1558)
(at: Località Albareto, 78, 29010 Albareto, Ziano Piacentino PC, Italy),
This is our new member of the Yellow Road
Marco and Silvia, owners of the Mossi vineyard 1558

Read the interview with Silvia Mandini here and now,
Until then, we will decipher the mysterious numbers " 1558 "

Jo Francesco Mossi was the first member of Mossi’s family that was recorded on an official document: in 1558 Farnese’s family census register stated that he was living in Albareto (where the Winery still stands) with his family, helping this fertile land to produce what it produces best: grapes and wine. Since then, 14 generations of winegrowers have followed Francesco’s footsteps: 500 years of work, during which the Mossi Winery has become an asset of our land, rooted in the vineyards like the most tenacious vine.
Silvia Mandini
Silvia Mandini , Marketing and Communications Manager. Silvia and her husband Marco now own the vineyards "Mossi 1558"

Piacenza in the evening

Luigi Mossi, representative of the 14th generation of the Mossi family

It’s not easy to say which kind of wine Jo Francesco Mossi used to produce. Ancient Romans were already producing wine on Piacenza hills. In fact we can assume that Barbera, Croatina, Malvasia di Candia Aromatica and Ortrugo have been grown here for many centuries. A recent study has proved that in the vineyard of Leonardo Da Vinci in Milano, there were some roots of Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, the same variety that grows on Piacenza hills!

Interview with Silvia Mandini

1 - Please tell us about yourself, why did you continue the family tradition?
2 - Your family has owned Mossi vineyards since 1558. Have you ever wanted to find ("restore") the very first wine of the winery, which was produced by Francesco Mossi?

Question 1+2:
Jo Francesco Mossi was the first member of Mossi’s family that was recorded on an official document: in 1558 Farnese’s family census register stated that he was living in Albareto (where the Winery still stands) with his family, helping this fertile land to produce what it produces best: grapes and wine. Since then, 14 generations of winegrowers have followed Francesco’s footsteps: 500 years of work, during which the Mossi Winery has become an asset of our land, rooted in the vineyards like the most tenacious vine.
In 2014 my husband and I took over the winery from the hands of Mr. Luigi Mossi, member of Mossi’s family 14th generation. We are not related to him, but we are continuing on his path, with even more passion, improving technologies and always taking care of our vines and wines.
It’s not easy to say which kind of wine Jo Francesco Mossi used to produce. Ancient Romans were already producing wine on Piacenza hills. In fact we can assume that Barbera, Croatina, Malvasia di Candia Aromatica and Ortrugo have been grown here for many centuries. A recent study has proved that in the vineyard of Leonardo Da Vinci in Milano, there were some roots of Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, the same variety that grows on Piacenza hills!

3 - Do you have the very first wine labels? And when did the labels appear on the bottles?
We can only make some assumptions, as we don’t have any labels, but we do have a collection of old bottles, all kept inside the Infernotto, a "cellar within the cellar" located in the most ancient part of the estate, dating back to 1700.
This is what “damigiane” looks like, big jugs

"Cellar within the cellar"...

This is where historical labels are found: we have bottles that were produced by Luigi Mossi’s grandfather, dating back to the 1930s. As you can see from the picture, it’s not easy to read these fascinating labels. Until the 1960s, people used to buy mostly “damigiane”, so they used to bottle wines by themselves from these big “jugs”, and labels were not that common yet. When the first DOC started to appear, labels became compulsory. We also have some labels dating back to the 1970s: we managed to get these bottles during an auction.

4 - Just curious: What does your winery's yard look like?
View of the estate "Mossi 1558"

Panorama with the vineyards "Mossi 1558"

5 - Luigi Mossi was the first to make wine from Ortrugo grapes. Why has it become a popular white wine today in the Piacenza region?
Before Luigi Mossi started to produce wines 100% Ortrugo in the 70s, this grape variety was used only to blend Malvasia di Candia Aromatica. In fact, in those years Malvasia was 80% of the production of white wines in the province of Piacenza, while Ortrugo was only 20%. Consumers’ tastes were changing: people were starting to enjoy easy-to-drink wines and Ortrugo was meeting these new needs. In fact, the so called “aperitivo” was becoming an habit, especially in cities like Milan, and then in neighbouring regions (Piedmont, Liguria…). Ortrugo is perfect as an aperitif: after Luigi Mossi started, also other producers followed him. Now Ortrugo makes up 50% of the surface of white grapes in the province of Piacenza!

Ortrugo white grapes

According to the Italian wine regulation, wine grapes need to be officially recognized: Professor Fregoni managed to register Malvasia Rosa only at the beginning of the 90s. Then, only 3 wineries in the world decided to “adopt” Malvasia Rosa. We are very proud to be one of them!
Grape Malvasia Rosa

Grape Malvasia Rosa

6 - Malvasia Rosa, a rare variety that was also discovered in your winery. It’s probably not only the unusual color of the wine?
Malvasia Rosa is a spontaneous genetic mutation of Malvasia di Candia Aromatica. Grapes mutations usually happen from red grapes to white (e.g. Pinot Noir becoming Pinot Gris and then Pinot Blanc), so a white grape (Malvasia di Candia Aromatica) that becomes pink (Malvasia Rosa) is something very rare. Malvasia Rosa was discovered in 1967 in the province of Piacenza, then Professor Fregoni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore) decided to study it in order to stabilize its color. He planted Malvasia Rosa also in our experimental vineyard where more than 30 local varieties are preserved, some of which are now exclusive to our collection. According to the Italian wine regulation, wine grapes need to be officially recognized: Professor Fregoni managed to register Malvasia Rosa only at the beginning of the 90s. Then, only 3 wineries in the world decided to “adopt” Malvasia Rosa. We are very proud to be one of them!

Winemakers Marco & Silvia

7 - If possible, list a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white), which, in your opinion, can represent your farm.
SEMI CROMA - Spumante Rosé Brut, 70% Malvasia Rosa, 30% Pinot Noir: we made a bet on Malvasia Rosa, and we got a fascinating sparkling rosé.
BACIAMANO - Colli Piacentini Doc Malvasia, 100% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, aged in Clayver ( 2019 is its first vintage: Malvasia has a great potential and we want to see how it will age.
CONTRO TEMPO - Ortrugo dei Colli Piacentini Doc Spumante Brut, 100% Ortrugo: an elegant Charmat method, that spent 6 months on the yeasts.
CONGEDO - Gutturnio Doc Classico Riserva, 70% Barbera, 30% Croatina: our Gutturnio Riserva, aged in barrels.
Still Life from Mossi 1558

Still Life from Mossi 1558

8 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?
Semi Croma, Baciamano, Contro Tempo, Congedo, plus Infernotto, the special Riserva of the Winery, named like the “cellar within the cellar”: it’s made with three different varieties and three different vintages: 50% Barbera vintage 2011, 40% Croatina vintage 2013 and 10% Pinot Noir vintage 2015; and Le Solane, our Vin Santo produced with Malvasia di Candia Aromatica.

LE SOLANE(Vin Santo)

9 - What white wine producer (from Italy or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?
I would recommend Ergo by Montecappone Vini ( It’s a Verdicchio, a variety that is well known for being able to age many years. Ergo is a very interesting late harvest that spent some time in amphoras.

10 - If it's not a secret, what are your plans for the future?
The Winery is under renovation: we have renewed the production area and in the next few years we will open a charming B&B, where we will host events in order to attract tourist and journalists. We are also focusing on sustainability: soon we will get the VIVA and CasaClima Wine certifications. VIVA is a project by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea aiming at the improvement of sustainability performances of the vinicultural through the analysis of four indicators: air, water, vineyard and territory (economic, social and cultural impacts). Casaclima Wine is a certification about energy efficiency, waste management and the ecological footprint of the Winery.

11 - Returning to the question of your very first wines (1558 year). On such a bottle one could put a reproduction of Caravaggio's painting: Wine tasting at the Mossi Winery in 1591 (this year Caravaggio went from Milan to Rome). Unfortunately, the newspaper form of the blog does not allow me to put a smiley in this place, but you can take my word for it, this unknown picture of the genius Caravaggio has been lying somewhere in my workshop for many years. I just need to search well for her.
Well, it’s a very nice idea, but we have just renewed our labels

12 - Do you have time for any cultural events?
When the pandemic will end (hopefully very soon!) and the renovation works will be finished, we will start to organize events in our beautiful hall overlooking the vineyards. Apart from event for tourists and journalists, we would like to host events like vintage cars rallies, as Luigi Mossi already did. Moreover, we have a very rare “Museo Contadino” (Farmers’ Museum), with a rich collection of agricultural and wine-making tools and machineries.

Sergey Evtuhov,
author of the "Yellow Road" project
So, in two years, the "Yellow Road" crossed Europe from east to west and reached Portugal, however, it was noted in the vineyards of Lebanon. The highlight of the Portuguese winery Quinta do Beijo presented here is white port.

Winery Quinta do Beijo, with more than a century of history and tradition, 12 hectares of vineyards and olive trees, was born from the old "Armazéns do Calvário".
Now Quinta do Beijo is known for its high quality wines, excellent olive oil and a new tourist offer ...
Located in Seleiros do Douro, a wine village 25 km from Vila Real, in the municipality of Sabroza, Quinta do Beijo also contributes to the beauty of the local landscape of vineyards and terraces typical of the Douro wine region.

Douro Valley with vineyard terraces

Director of Quinta do Beijo João Monteiro answers the questions of the Yellow Road

1 - Why is your vineyard called “Quinta do Beijo”?
Quinta do Beijo means “Kiss Winery” because we are a romantic Family and also because our Parents they love Humming Birds. These Birds in Portuguese we call them “Flower Kissers” and to compare them to us, to Wine producers, those birds with a kiss they get the nectar from the flowers and we with a kiss we get the nectar from the vineyards to the barrels.

Pingyao Bridge

Panorama of the city Vila Real, Graça Paula photo

2 - Can you suggest a route to visit your winery?
You can start to see Vila Real, a City near Douro Region, this is the entrance of Douro and here you can taste our local pastery. Than you can visit our Winery in Celeirós do Douro, have lunch here with reservation, stop next at our picturesque viewing platforms in S. Cristovão do Douro where you can see the heart of Douro from above, Pinhão. Next you stop at this village and see our Railroad station and you can ride our traditional train. Walk next the Douro´s River, bridge from pinhão and then by car do our most beautiful road in the world from Pinhão to Régua and have some dinner there.

3 - What is the best way to travel around the Douro Valley? Is there public transport there?
The best way to visit Douro Valley is by renting car or even from Touristic Companies. There’s lack of public transportation here and also taxies for example, they can get you to different places but your going to spend a lot of money. The car rentals you can go to every place, every corner of Douro and you can stop whenever you want for you to feel the outstanding landscapes.

Panorama of San Leonardo de Galafura

4 - Where are the most picturesque viewing platforms in the Douro Valley?
In our region, “Cima Corgo – Douro Valley” there is tons of picturesque viewing like, Casal de Loivos, S. Cristóvão do Douro (Pinhão), Folgosa do Douro, São Leonardo de Galafura, Bridge of Pinhão.

5 - What does your apartment look like? And how much does a double room cost?

We don´t have apartment to rent. We have a house here that includes an open space with capacity to have a couple, Family or even a friends travel for 9 persons. It has Kitchen, Living Room, Backyard, Bathroom, Balcony. It´s inside of our Winery´s Properties, at the high season this costs per night between 270€ for 320€. Also we are planning to have 3 more houses, all of them with different locations and also different decorations like inside of a vineyard, inside of a traditional village from Douro or also a touristic traditional harvesting village.

Miguel Monteiro

6 - Расскажите, пожалуйста, о вашем патриархе Мигеле Монтейро? В чем его заслуга перед винодельней Quinta do Beijo?
Г-н Монтейро, как его называют в регионе, является семейным патриархом. Он управляет всем производством вина Quinta do Beijo, а также управляет всеми виноградниками, включая и оперативный контроль на винодельне. Он унаследовал винодельню от нашего деда, Луиса де Кастро Монтейро, и, производя фантастические портвейны в течение нескольких десятилетий, он поставил перед своей семьей(женой и сыновьями) задачу создать новый бренд на португальском рынке, наш Quinta do Beijo, и Quinta do Beijo родилась, и стала тем, чем является сегодня.

Gift set from Quinta do Beijo

7 - What is your favorite wine (red or white)? And why? Please name your best wines.

All of our wines they are interesting and full of surprises on the taste and smell but my favorite of all is White Port Wine. They are rare on the market and specialty rare with aging on the oak barrels and we have 60% of our production is White Port Wine. This particularly wine is smooth on the taste but gives you a new perspective of tasting an aged one. We have now on the market a new Port, a White 10 Years Old Port, feels raisons on it and a hint of hazelnuts with a little of sweetness of honey. But the Best of Best is the Quinta do Beijo Tawny Port +40 Years Old, this is considered a 70 Years Old Port, comes from our Grandfather and it´s taste is honey and some caramel, very smooth and also you can feel a little bit of oak. Balanced. This won a Gold Medal on the International Wine Challenge in London, 95 Points of 100.
Our Top Wines at our cellar they are in Ports - Quinta do Beijo Tawny Port +40 Years Old (Photo attachment Qta_Beijo+Medalha) / Quinta do Beijo Tawny 10 Years Old This one also won a Gold Medal on the International Wine Challenge in London, 95 Points of 100./ Quinta do Beijo White 10 Years Old; For DOC Wines - Porta de Celeirós D´Oiro White DOC Wine Grand Reserve 2018 (Photo attachment Porta Celeirós Grande Reserva Branco 2018) / Quinta do Beijo Red DOC Wine Reserve 2016 (Photo attachment Garrafa Reserva Tinto 2016)

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
We have to set gift box that we can decorate of our Farm, all from DOC Wines, the First is with 2 Grand Reserve White 2018 and 2 Reserve Red 2016 (Photo attachment Calamity_Package) and then we have a Classic one with a Wood Box with 3 DOC Wines, in this picture you will see with Entry Red Wine from 2018 but you can do with White Entry wines or Red Reserve ( Attachment Classic_Package)

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?
My favorite places of my vineyards is this one (Attachment _MG_6907-2) This one is from 550 meters of altitude, different landscape without Douro River but gives you a feeling of freedom. With only nature sounds and also a view of what is living inside of a vineyard propriety!
Gold medal for Porto

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

Grand Reserve White Wine from 2018

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

I recommend without a doubt Gueda´s Wines. From Vilarinho dos Freires, Peso da Régua.

12 - What cultural event would you like to see at home: an exhibition, an opera, a ballet, something else or just your own events?
A Musical / Theater and some music displays with some wine taste

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