Maher Harb, owner of Sept winery holds a glass of wine at Sept winery, in Batroun, northern Lebanon, October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
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Lured by Lebanon's winemaking potential and nostalgia for his homeland, Maher Harb left a Paris consultancy job in 2010 and dug vines into the soil of family land unused since the country's Civil War.The 36-year-old is part of an expanding wine industry that is bringing life back to land abandoned during Lebanon's 1975-90 Civil War and waves of economic migration.Global interest in Lebanon's wines is growing, but output is low a mere 8-9 million bottles annually compared to 5-6 billion bottles from the world's largest producer Italy and production costs are high.So producers are striving to create a distinct, marketable identity for Lebanese wine based on quality, not quantity.Producers are also looking to indigenous grapes for a Lebanese identity, moving away from imported, well-known French vines.Chateau St. Thomas made its first all-Obeidy wine in 2012 .
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