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24 September 2018 — OIV life

Lebanon’s vitivinicultural sector in the spotlight

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Lebanon’s third vine and wine conference was held in Beirut on 13 September 2018.

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Organised by the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture on the theme of ‘new strategies and technologies for the Lebanese wine industry’, the event, held at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), brought together leading companies from the sector united under the Union Vinicole du Liban (Lebanon’s association of wine producers), as well as a number of industry experts.

Speakers from different countries (e.g. France and Italy) offered insights into the latest technical, scientific and economic developments.

The Director General of the OIV, along with his Assistant, took part in the day’s activities. On this occasion, Jean-Marie Aurand emphasised the ‘close and fruitful’ relationship enjoyed with Lebanon since the country became a member of the OIV in 1995.

Vitivinicultural activity in Lebanon has experienced remarkable growth over the last 20 years

As early as 1997, the Union Vinicole du Liban was created on the advice of the OIV. In 2000, Lebanon passed a law relating to wine, on the basis of which the National Institute of Vine and Wine was created in 2013. Over the last six years, and under the dynamic leadership of Director General Louis Lahoud, the relationship between the OIV and Lebanon has grown even stronger.

Mr Aurand also noted the success of the Lebanese Wine Day events, which were held in Paris in 2010 and 2013, in Berlin in 2014, in the United States in 2016 and 2017, and this year in Switzerland. Organised by the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, this year’s event attracted a large audience of specialists who, over the course of one day, had the opportunity to discover the diversity and quality of Lebanese wine production. He praised the involvement of the Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Louis Lahoud, and the support of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Gebran Bassil.

During his visit, the Director General of the OIV was received by the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Aoun, and by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who both assured him of their country’s support in the activities of the OIV. 

Jean-Marie Aurand with:

1. The President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Aoun

2. The Prime Minister, Saad Harir

Demonstrating the importance of the vitivinicultural sector in the country, high-level meetings were also held with the Minister of Economy, Mr Raed Khoury (1); the Minister for Justice, Mr Salim Jreissati (2); the Minister for Information, Mr Melhem Riachi (3); and the Minister for Tourism, Mr Avedis Guidanian (4).

Jean-Marie Aurand with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Gebran Bassil


Vitivinicultural activity in Lebanon has experienced remarkable growth over the last 20 years; today it has almost 50 wineries whereas 20 years ago it had eight. 

The country produces about 80,000 hL of wine a year and exports half of its production. It also promotes native vine varieties such as Obeidy or Merweh in an effort to rediscover the roots of this age-old winemaking tradition.