A remarkable tale of triumph against all the odds, the story of Chateau Belle-Vue begins in the 1990s when Naji and Jill Boutros returned to Naji’s hometown tucked away in the mountains some 16km from Beirut. There they found Naji’s grandfather’s hotel, the old Chateau Belle-Vue, completely destroyed by war and the village decimated by economic stagnation. The situation inspired Naji to leave a highly successful career as an investment banker and return to his roots where he’s made it his mission to give back to the local economy.
Over the years Naji has bought a variety of plots around the village and has restored and replanted the ancient terraced hillside vineyards where grapes had grown for centuries. The couple only employ local workers to help pump money back into the region and have set up a scholarship fund and community library for local school kids.
The estate’s vineyards are worked organically and without irrigation to produce exceptional quality fruit. The vines are carefully pruned to restrict production to a tiny yield of just a ton of grapes per hectare to maximise intensity and complexity of flavour. The mountain terroir has proven especially well-suited to the classic Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot which thrive in the Mediterranean climate.
Chateau Belle-vue’s iconic wine is the Le Chateau which is typically composed predominantly of Cabernet Franc and Syrah along with smaller proportions of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon depending on the vintage. Just 2500-3500 bottles of this outstanding wine are produced each year, along with up to 15,000 bottles of Belle-vue’s second wine, La Renaissance.
Very approachable and drinkable when young, both of these wines age exceptionally well, offer incredible value for money, and deserve a place in every collector or investor’s portfolio.