The name IXSIR derives from “Iksir”, the original Arabic word for “Elixir”; a word common to many languages, which defines the purest form of all substances, a secret potion that grants eternal youth and love.
The vision behind IXSIR is to reveal the best terroirs of Lebanon, some forgotten long since. Cultivated with respect to sustainable agriculture, IXSIR’s vineyards are spread in the mountains of Lebanon on clay-calcareous and limestone soil, from Batroun to Jezzine, benefiting from the unique microclimates Lebanon has to offer.
IXSIR’s vineyards culminate at an altitude of 1,800 m, making them one of the highest in the Northern Hemisphere. Winemaking occurs in a winery located on the hills of Batroun where 17th-century traditional Lebanese house presides over a contemporary winery with sustainability at its core. Recognized several time for its green credentials, the IXSIR winery was named by CNN as one of the greenest buildings in the world and won the international Architizer A+ Award as well as the Good Green Design Award and the Green Mind MENA Award.
Lebanon is on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean sea and has the highest mountains in the Middle East. It has been incessantly producing and trading wine for the past 6,500 years, making it one of the oldest winemaking countries. IXSIR’s vineyards are spread from the north to the south of Lebanon and aims to promote sustainable farming by helping more than 250 families of farmers to remain on their lands.
IXSIR ensures that long term buying contracts with vine growers are set, including a higher pay on grapes than the rest of the market, along with technical counseling and strict quality control. This Fair Trade approach was done in regions known for the production of illicit crops.
IXSIR’s winery is located in the mountains of Batroun, north of Lebanon, in a village called Basbina at 400 meters above sea level. Built underground with sustainability at its heart, the winery kept the region’s landscape intact and a 17th-century-restored feudal house serves as the entrance, and symbol of IXSIR. This house is today home to the restaurant “Nicolas Audi a la maison d’IXSIR” that serves traditional Lebanese cuisine from different regions of Lebanon, revisited by the renowned Chef Nicolas Audi.
The winery welcomes visitors throughout the year even during harvest season. During daily guided tours, they can discover the green aspect of the winery as well as the winemaking process. They can also stroll in a botanical garden set on the roof of the winery, where they can see side-by-side more than 22 different grapes varieties. It is Lebanon’s biggest planted roof. Recognized several times for its green credentials, the IXSIR winery was named by CNN as one of the greenest buildings in the world and won three of the most prestigious international Green architecture awards.
The winery is built on different levels allowing wine to be made using the method of “gravity fermentation”, with very little pumping used during the process as grapes and wine free-flow from one level to the next.
The wine cellar is built 12 meters underground thus taking advantage of the soil’s thermal consistency instead of mechanical refrigeration. Zenithal skylights on the roof maximize the use of sunlight on all floors, reaching the cellar 12 meters underground.