Deeply rooted in the Levant, the Johnny R. Saadé family translates its passion for vines through the creation of Château Marsyas in the southern part of the Bekaa Valley. Renowned for its wine culture, this ancient land reveals itself to be an exceptional place for the creation of a great wine in line with the highest quality standards. Located at an altitude of 900 metres, Château Marsyas is a family initiative founded on the search for excellence.
Cited by Strabo and Pliny the Elder, Marsyas is the ancient name of the Bekaa valley situated between Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon. It draws its name from the famous Phrygian Satyr who symbolized the freedom of man in the face of the Gods, and once defied Apollo in a musical contest to find himself flayed to death.
Marsyas came also to symbolize the liberty of ancient autonomous cities.
A follower of Dionysus, otherwise known as Bacchus, the God of wine, he was among the silenes who spread the culture of wine in the ancient world.
The Marsyas Valley, also known to the ancient Arabs as Noah’s Valley (in reference to the alleged burial site of the biblical prophet) is primarily known for the sacred temples of Baalbek/Heliopolis, the city of the sun in which eastern and western worshipping cults took place.
Embedded within a strong eastern tradition, the Johnny R. Saadé family draws, from its Levantine roots, a passion for challenges among which the renaissance of the ancient vineyards of the Orient.
The Saadé family is a typical representative of Levantine syncretism with roots in the ancient coastal city of Laodicea (modern Latakia) as well as Antioch, Alexandria, Tripoli (Lebanon) and Mount-Lebanon.
It traces its mercantile and landowning roots to the 18th and 19th century with prominent representatives such as Gabriel Saadé (1854-1939) and Rodolphe Saadé (1900-1956).
It was Johnny R. Saadé, Rodolphe’s son that developed shipping and other transport activities in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and France before getting back to the family agricultural roots through the creation of vineyards in Lebanon and Syria.
The primacy of the soil and uncompromising quality. This is how Karim and Sandro Saadé define their wine philosophy. This approach, unlike many local practices, is aimed at raising Lebanese wine to the level it deserves.
Proud of their roots, the brothers are deeply reluctant to consider Lebanese wine under any ethnic label, as many have tried to do in order to maximize their sales.
By using the best international varieties for both Red (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot) and White (Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc), they aim to put forward the excellence of the soil and organic agriculture. It is important to remember that wine is done primarily (90%) in the vineyard and then (10%) in the cellar. By following this philosophy, Karim & Sandro Saadé have set very qualitative criteria, such as high plantation density (6,250 plants per hectares) and a very low yield per plant (under 1 kg per plant).