Centuries ago, our ancestors worked tirelessly to prepare their fertile valley lands for farming. They tamed the difficult but rich mountainside below Bhamdoun village with a maze of handmade stone terrace walls, allowing farmers to plant the fruit and vegetables which sustained their existence. Of all the crops cultivated across generations, it soon became clear that the soil and climate of this particular valley were best suited to growing grapes; thus a legacy of viticulture began.
Belle-Vue itself was originally a beautiful hotel which stood commandingly high on the mountain facing the Mediterranean Sea and the snowcapped mountains to the north. The hotel was owned and run by Naji Boutros’ maternal grandparents. When war broke out in 1975, Hotel Belle-Vue closed its doors and became the family’s main residence—though guests who came knocking were always offered a bed for the night.
Hotel Belle-Vue no longer exists, but symbolically, this was the first vineyard planted with vines in April 2000. Years later, we now cultivated 30,000 vines on dozens of plots in and around the village. After decades of disuse and neglect, our valley is again green and bountiful.
We cultivate 24 hectares (60 acres) of terraced mountainside stretching from our lowest vineyards at 950 meters to the highest at over 1200 meters of altitude. The vineyards wrap around the valley under Bhamdoun village from NE to SW, enjoying snow and rain from November to April followed by a dry warm summer.
The vines are dry-farmed from year two. No pesticides or herbicides are used. Cover crops help maintain soil structure, avoid erosion and balance water availability. Grapes are hand-picked by varietal in cases of 20 kg at the moment of optimal balance between potential alcohol and acidity.
Our fertile valley is also home to olive groves, fig trees and heritage grape varietals which we identify and protect in a special section of land deemed “the living museum of the Bhamdouni grape”. The Belle-Vue team considers itself custodians of this precious agricultural land and its natural productivity, and as such we shoulder significant responsibility for its maintenance and care. Join us to harvest figs in August/September, grapes in September/October and olives in November. And you can taste the fruit of our valley year round in the cuisine prepared fresh by our chef at Le Telegraphe.