When François-Eugène Brun laid the foundation stone of Domaine des Tourelles in Chtaura back in 1868, he couldn’t have known that he had just begun to write the marvellous story of Lebanese wine. Pioneer of what was to become one of the greatest ambassadors of the land of the Cedars, the heart of Domaine des Tourelles hasn’t ceased to beat to the rhythm of the celebrated vintages of the Bekaa valley’s exceptional soil.
François-Eugène Brun was born in the 19th century in Chézery (Ain – France). This young military engineer left his village for Marseille where he settled. Then, when hired by an Ottoman company in charge of building the Beirut-Damascus road, François-Eugène came to Lebanon and settled in a village called Chtaura in the Bekaa Valley. Captivated by the plain’s touching charm and green landscape that reminded him of his homeland, he founded, in 1868, the Domaine des Tourelles which became the first commercial cellar in Lebanon producing wines, arak (Lebanon’s traditional alcoholic beverage) and other spirits. Soon after, the distillery prospered and flourished with high demands on the cellar’s products. Brun’s passion for wine lead his reputation beyond Lebanon as Domaine des Tourelles won, as of the 19th century, gold, silver and bronze medals in prestigious international wine contests.
Carrying on the ancestral tradition, François-Eugène Brun’s descendants preserved, in turn, the traditional aspect lying beneath the quality of the property’s products. The last of them all, Pierre Louis Brun (3rd generation) died in 2000. Domaine des Tourelles was then bought by Nayla Kanaan Issa-el-Khoury and Elie F. Issa. The new owners closely preserved the golden rule launched more than a century ago: true to its exceptional history, Domaine des Tourelles continues to display a unique blend of quality and refinement, having elevated Lebanon’s name as much by its wine as by its very prestigious Arack Brun classified as the best arak in the world!
Nothing but a visit to its yellow stone and exceptional wood cellars can begin to unravel the mystery of this age-old estate.