We are so happy to import these wines. Made despite great adversity with the help of outstanding consultant Stephane Derenencourt, the Saadé brothers, Sandro and Karim, farm this fantastic vineyard 900m above sea level with shingle and limestone terroirs. Situated just near the port of Latakia ( once known as Laodicea) and near what was the ancient city of Antioch, this is home to some of the most ancient vineyards in the world, producing for over 3000 years. The city of Antioch had at its peak around half a million inhabitants, and played a pivotal role in early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism.
Shipping is a mission in itself. Michael Karam in 'The Buyer' writes: "Before 2011, Domaine Bargylus wines only had to make the simple overland trip to the Lebanese capital Beirut before being shipped abroad, but now they have to make an astonishingly complicated journey from Latakia to Port Said in Egypt and then back to Beirut, before heading off to Belgium [and then London]. But all that’s relatively straightforward. In Syria, winery equipment is difficult to source and spare parts have to be discreetly brought in by taxi, while the actual winemaking process is essentially made over the Internet with the resident winemaker, when he’s not trying to stay alive, having to post images of grapes and vines for the brothers to assess. Samples of grapes and the finished wines have to make the perilous journey to Beirut, again by taxi via Syria’s northern border. but making it is much, much harder."