Author Archives: Michael Karam

Coming in from the freez

Reading Time: 4 minutes This month will see the launch of Château Ka, the latest recruit to the steadily growing roster of local wineries. Ka is the brainchild of Akram Kassatly, chairman of Kassatly Chtaura, the company that at various stages in its life has brought concentrated syrups, preserves and fruit juices to generations of Lebanese. His first wines

Greenhouse Revolutionary

Reading Time: 7 minutes According to Etienne Debbane, chairman and CEO of Exotica, the horticultural and contracting company, the key to success has been to exploit the synergy of opposites: war and peace, indoors and outdoors. A bit of flair, an emphasis on service, staying tightly competitive and a strong regional presence have also helped the corporate cause. “When

Keeping up appearances

Reading Time: 5 minutes What were you doing the moment you heard Rafik Hariri was dead? Ramzi Ghosn was selling his wine at a trade fair in Dubai. “Ronald Hochar [co-owner of Chateau Musar] came over to our stand and told me about the explosion,” recalls Ghosn, who with his brother, Sami, in 1996 founded Massaya, the winery that

Feeling the pressure

Reading Time: 6 minutes It all seemed to be going so well for Lebanese wine. Once the sole preserve of Musar, Ksara and Kefraya, the sector has, since the late 90s, seen the emergence of new wineries, producing exciting wines in eye-catching bottles. The UVL (Union Vinicole du Liban), established in 1997, showed it could function as a genuine

Heineken shakes up the beer market

Reading Time: 5 minutes When Heineken bought Almaza at the end of 2002, the acquisition, “represented a further strengthening of Heineken’s position in growing beer markets thus creating a better balance between the activities of Heineken in mature and in developing markets. It also offers a strong base from which to export to surrounding countries.” Two year’s later the

Revolution in retail

Reading Time: 5 minutes Lebanon’s retail sector has finally shaken off the effects of the war as it moves towards a modern shopping culture. The good news is that a new generation of shopping malls is getting it right, offering a modern retail experience in an equally modern retail environment, catering to both local shoppers and tourists. This modern

Objects of Desire

Reading Time: 3 minutes Bentley makes its move Saad and Trad have been blowing their trumpet about the new Bentley Continental GT. And why not? There are few names in motoring that match the romance, elegance and sheer brute force served up by Bentley. Today, Bentley is owned by those nice people at VW, who have been selling Bentley

A reason to wine

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Union Vinicole du Liban (UVL) and the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI) are exploring the possibility of setting up what is tentatively being referred to as a marketing board to promote Lebanon