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Ixsir were founded in 2008 by a group of friends, Etienne Debbane, Hady Kahale, Carlos Ghson and Gabriel Rivero, just outside Batroun in the north of Lebanon. They had a shared passion for wine and their homeland. The sustainably farmed vineyards are spread across the mountains of Lebanon on different sites from Batroun in the north to Jezzine in the south, and the Bekaa Valley in the east, planted on varying terroirs with sand, gravels, clay-calcareous, marl-calcareous, ferralitic and limestone soils all featured. The vineyards culminate at an altitude of 1,800 metres above sea level in the Ainata Vineyard in Basbina, this is the highest vineyard in the Northern Hemisphere. Ixsir help more than 250 farming families to remain on their lands, and pay a higher rate for their grapes than the usual market price. The red Syrah, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Caladoc, Arinarnoa, Carignan, Cinsault, Merlot and Tempranillo are cultivated along with the white Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscat, and from this diversity of grape varieties coupled with varying microclimates and terroirs, a spectrum of interesting wines are produced. Ixsir are passionate about the environment, and have been recognised for their green credentials; their winery was named by CNN as one of the greenest buildings in the world, and it has also won the international Architizer A+A Award, the Good Green Design award and the Green Mind MENA Award. Ixsir's winery consumes 75% less energy than any other winery in the world, and has a botanical garden planted on its roof, where 22 different grape varieties are grown. The name of the winery derives form the Arabic word “Iksir”, which means “Elixir”. Elixirs are known to be secret potions, defining the purest form of substances - well now the secret is out, and these rich, elegant and complex wines are unique and rather exotic!