Wines | Massaya

Even at this early stage in the delicate process of wine making, we can say with confidence that 2017 will turn out to be one of the best vintages in the past ten years.

The main reason is the low yields this year. On average our harvest produces 19 hectolitres per hectare. That is certainly a sign of quality when you think that the threshold is 40hl per hectare. To put it simply, the less juice the vines produce the better the quality will be because the grape juices are more concentrated and give more complexity and depth to the wines.

There are three key elements that influence the yield from a vineyard.

1- Rainfall

2- Spring weather

3- The human factor. It is important not to underestimate the importance of the pruning, the destemming, the green harvest… and the care of the vines in general. They can all affect the quality.


Rainfall is showing a reduced trend in Lebanon and sometimes the lack of rainfall has reached a worrisome level. However, last winter the quantity of water was about average while temperatures remained above average. For the vines, snow plays a vital role because it melts gradually instead of flowing rapidly into the sea. Our mountains are able to absorb and store the slowly melting winter snow and therefore they play the role of water tanks.

Spring weather is crucial for vines because that’s when they produce their flowers. Not all of them will bear fruit if the wind is too strong or if the temperature is inhospitable. And this year we had a cold and windy spring that surely contributed to the lower yields.

Concerning the human factor, regardless of weather conditions, Massaya always does its upmost to prioritise quality over volume.

When you combine the natural factors with the human factors, we ended up this year with the yield of 19hl/ha. That might not be so welcome when you look at it from a financial point of view, but from a quality standpoint that is a blessing for the winemaker!

The Massaya red wines that will be available this winter are the following:


Le Colombier 2016

This wine is based on Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Tempranillo – and is fruit forward with pronounced Mediterranean aromatics. Bottled after light filtering, it is best drunk young and fresh to fully enjoy its fruit. Perfect for everyday drinking and is compatible with ingredients difficult to pair with wines such as lemon juice, parsley…etc.


Terrasses de Baalbeck 2013

Like the name entails, the location of our vineyards nestled on the mountain range overlooking Baalbeck and its temples has proved to be one of the wisest vineyard decisions we have made. Baalbeck is the highest town in the Beqaa valley and the city of sun (Baal, God of Sun) is a remarkable water dividing location where the Litani flows south and the Orontes north. The melting snow that comes from the mountains behind the vineyard gradually keeps the underground fresh while the vines overcome the heat and the dry environment. This GSM blend will first seduce you with its finesse and then have you sealed as it gains appreciation over time.


Cap Est 2015

This wine comes from the most complex vineyards that Massaya developed. Conditions are so extreme that it took us seven years to harvest the first berries of Grenache and Mourvèdre. The result is geared towards complexity, finesse and freshness. The nose is delicate with hints of rose water. The texture of the wines come up gradually and reflect an unexpected minerality in line with the terroir’s complexity.

Massaya Reserve 2011

A red wine that gains complexity with age thanks to seven years of maturation at 1700m high altitude at our Mount Lebanon winery. It is bottled with neither fining nor filtration This is an environment with low oxygen and atmospheric pressure that allows the wine to breath slowly and to mature.

It’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre and Syrah blend gives a deep and intense purple look with garnet-red reflection. The nose is clear and powerful with under-wood scents. This is a full-bodied pulpy wine with aromas of sandalwood.

We are often asked what is our best vintage, and our reply is always ‘the next vintage’. Joking aside, we always learn from our experience and try to adapt our techniques to the changing natural environment and strengthen our learning curve. Massaya used to be the new kid on the block but after 19 harvests we can claim to be seasoned farmers, but still with a thirst for knowledge.

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