In 2003, oncologist and wine lover, Fady Geara, decided to take the plunge and purchase land for vineyards near the town of Auora, in the Batroun Mountains of Northern Lebanon. Just 900m from the Mediterranean Ocean, the winery “corrects latitude with altitude”. The hot summer days of the growing season are moderated by the cooling breezes off the ocean, as well as the large diurnal temperature shifts in the evenings. Rooted in ferric clay and limestone, with rocks and sand overlaying, this is the perfect terroir to craft wines of structure and power. Fady is still the winemaker, and combines modern winemaking techniques with Old World sensibilities. A huge fan of French wines, he has planted the big Bordeaux varieties, as well as (interestingly) some Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. French oak barriques are his preferred choice, but he takes care to let the fruit come through when using oak. Batroun Mountain is the second largest growing region in Lebanon but, with only a handful of wineries working in this appellation, it is dwarfed in size by the Bekaa Valley. Batroun Mountain is well known for producing powerhouse wines and our selection from Aurora Winery fit that mold. These vineyards must be farmed and harvested “heroically”, by hand, on steep mountain terraces. Sitting at between 700 and 1300 masl, this is laborious and painstaking work. The resulting wines are textured, structured and elegant, with good cellaring potential, while still being enjoyable for earlier consumption.