Eddy Naim, a new Naked Winemaker of Lebanon, is named the winner

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Chateau Qanafar’s winemaker received the award from Naked Wines. This online wine retailer supports hundreds of winemakers in their efforts to create unique wines using a crowd-funding model.

France’s Denis Crespo and David Tofterup from Spain were also shortlisted. Naim received more than half the votes from the company’s 400,000 customers and Angels.

Eddy will receive the prize to fund the production of a 100% Cinsault wine that he has wanted for years but never had the opportunity to. Naked Wines will fully fund the production of the new wine and it will only be sold to its UK customers.

“Cinsault has always been my favorite grape. It is the Pinot Noir for warm climates. It has a bad name for some. High-quality wines can be made from low yields. The award is an honor and a humble honor. It is difficult to express how much Angels’ support has made a difference for my family, and other families that depend on my winery as a means of subsistence, especially considering the ongoing crisis in Lebanon. We will continue to produce wines that brighten people’s days.”

 

 

 

Eddy’s Angels Julie Boulton is Phil Howard-Knight. Super-Angels are Archangels. They are super-Angels who support and promote their chosen winemakers. These Naked lovers are unpaid and help the company to price wine and find new winemakers. Nearly 950,000 naked angels are worldwide.

Eamon FitzGerald (ex-Wine Director at Naked Wines UK) discovered Naim for the first time in 2017. Ray O’Connor, MW, the current director of Naim, says: “2021 was a difficult year for many of our colleagues, but it’s hard to understand the situation for Eddy. He is our first Lebanese winemaker.

Last year, Lebanon was plagued by shortages in bread, fuel, medicine, fuel and other basic necessities. Even power plants were shut down, plungeing Lebanon into darkness. So, it’s nothing short of a miracle that Eddy still found a way to produce his tiny volumes of high-end boutique wines, which are as good as almost anything you’ll taste from Bordeaux or Chateauneuf-du-Pape.”

Eddy, a former Dubai management consultant, convinced his father, an amateur winemaker, to start a business. The couple’s first harvest was in 2010.

Naked Wines lists two wines from his collection (their only Lebanese wine): a Syrah blend Chateau Qanafar 29515 (PS24.99), and a Cabernet blend Petit Paradis de Qanafar 2018, (PS13.99).

Naked Wines’ Winemaker Of The Year Award winners include South African winemakers Carmen Stevens, Johan Kruger, Australian winemaker Jen Pfeiffer and Stefano di Blasi, an Italian winemaker.

The prepayment is a fixed monthly amount that goes towards the next purchase of naked angels. Naked funds the production costs of winemakers and generates savings that are passed on to its customers. It creates a “virtuous cycle” that benefits winemakers and wine drinkers. There are 67 volunteer Archangels.

Julie Boulton says: “It is a great pleasure to support Eddy. He is such a friendly character, and he makes some the finest wines on the Naked website/ I share the highs and lows of life with him, including the port blast in August 2020. There was no supply of corks!

“Eddy is determined that he will raise his family in his home country and produce high quality wine. Eddy’s success is dependent on the success of many families in his community.

Naked Wines was established in 2008 and is one of the first Crowdfunded ventures. It now represents 170 independent winemakers in the world, making over 1,500 quality wines from 19 countries.

The major wines of Lebanon are produced in the Bekaa Valley. Chateaux Musar and Massaya are home to the famous Chateaux Musar, Ksara and Kefraya labels. The country’s French influence is evident in the grape varieties grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Mourvedre and Cinsault (the original grape planted), Grenache and Syrah. Obadiah, Marwah and other indigenous grapes are also ancient.

Lebanon is home to over 40 wineries that produce eight million bottles annually. Six thousand years ago, Phoenicians traded with Spain, Italy and Greece through Byblos, a port in North Africa. Modern winemaking was founded on seeds that were planted in faraway soils.

Baalek was home to a temple dedicated to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Noah is believed to have planted the first vineyard. His grave is believed to be located near Zahle, eastern Lebanon. Cana, in the south, is where Jesus made water into wine. Hosea, the Israelite prophet, is believed to have exhorted his followers to go back to God to “bloom as the vine and fame of Lebanon, their fragrance like that of Lebanon”.

Gaston Hochar founded Chateau Muzar in 1930 after he had visited Bordeaux. His ‘wines with noblesse’ were his creations. Gaston’s oldest son, Serge Hochar was trained as a civil engineer. He then decided to study Enology. With the encouragement of his father, he became a student of Emile Perynaud at Bordeaux’s University of Oenology and Ghazir Chateau in 1959. His work in making wine during the long Civil War was recognized by Decanter magazine as “Man of The Year”. Marc and Gaston are now responsible for the liquid and liquidity. Next generation is already involved. Reds grow in cooler climates while whites are grown on 371 acres of vineyards located twenty miles from Beirut.

Ksara was established by Jesuit missionaries in 1857. It is now the largest wine producer in the country. Arak is a popular Middle Eastern fruit-based spirit with anise seed added. It was the first to produce Lebanese dry white wines. Its success helped open the door to Chateau Kefraya, a Chateau owned by the Bustros family.

Massaya, a newspaper based in Tanail, Faqra was founded in 1975 by the Ghosn brothers. They are the Bruer family from “Vieux Telegraph”, Chateau Neuf de Pape, and Dominique Hebrard, Chateau Cheval, St Emillion. Ghosn’s family fled Lebanon to the USA in 1975. They returned in 1992. Sami was an architect in Los Angeles, while Ramzi managed a French restaurant.

Domaine des Tourelles was founded in 1868 by Francois-Eugene Brun. It produces wines that are minimally manipulated. The 2015 rose, a lively blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Tempranillo is a great match for many Lebanese cuisines.

You can become a naked angel and learn about Lebanese wines. There are many more. We all have a naked angel inside of us.