Massaya is run by brothers Sami and Ramzi Ghosn in partnership with Frédéric and Daniel Brunier from famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe and Dominique Hebrard, formerly from Château Cheval Blanc.
Until recently Massaya’s vineyards have solely been located in the fertile Beqaa Valley, at an elevation of 1000 metres above sea level. At these Tanaïl vineyards the slopes are protected by Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountains. Free of frost and disease the Beqaa Valley enjoys a unique climate with long gentle summers, wet winters and an average temperature of 25ºC, perfect for viticulture. However, over the last seven years Sami and Ramzi together with Frédéric and Daniel Brunier, have developed Massaya vineyards in the more extreme, mineral areas of the Beqaa valley, moving onto hillside sites to the North East (Ras Baalbek) and North West (Hadath Baalbek), as well as further north of Baalbek. These vineyards are planted with Grenache and Mourvèdre for the red wines, and Obeidi, Clairette, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Vermentino for the Massaya white.
In July 2014 Massaya opened their new high altitude winery in Faqra on Mount Lebanon. It is situated 1750 metres above sea level, at the foothills of the Mount Lebanon ski resorts. It overlooks Faqra, the highest elevation Roman temple in the world, and across the horizon it has views over the Mediterranean. The Massaya Faqra winery is used for the vinification of the white wine, as well as for the maturation of some of the red wines.
'This is of pale lemon yellow colour with green hints; it has a savoury nose of nutmeg, bayleaf and wild herbs along with a distinctive salty minerality as well as fresh pear, stone fruit and bruised apple. There is an almost oily, creamy lees texture on the palate with ripe red apple, finishing with a subtle vanilla and white mushroom spiciness. This is a versatile partner for lots of different food from roasted fish to saffron risotto. My first impression was that it could remind tasters of a white Rhone due to it's floral and oily textured qualities, but it is really quite unusual and distinctive- well worth a try!'Anja Breit, Philglas & Swiggot