The only exclusively Christian village on the West Bank is also the home to the only Palestinian beer. Nadim and David Khoury began brewing beer in Taybeh in 1994, which—alongside an annual Oktoberfest—plays a major role in the town’s economy; the brewery produces 6 million liters yearly, and the festival has attracted 16,000 people. AP via ABC reports that, with the launch of their first wines, the Khoury family is hoping to add balance to Taybeh’s precarious economy.
Selling wine to Palestinians will be, of course, difficult. The vast majority of the population is Muslim (Christians account for only 2 percent of the population) and abstain from alcohol. And importing necessary equipment often involves delays at the border. But given the success of Taybeh beer within the international market, Nadim Khoury feels this is an opportunity to promote grape varieties indigenous to Palestine and inspire fellow Christians to stay in the region.
Khoury’s son Canaan worked with an Italian vintner to produce the winery’s first run, a blend of merlot, syrah and cabernet. The wine, christened Nadim, “which means ‘drinking buddy’ in Arabic,” was produced using state-of-the-art European equipment. To further attract tourists, the family built a boutique hotel with 80 rooms above the winery which is, no doubt, one of Palestine’s first modern wine country experiences. [ABC] [Image: Flickr/Seetheholyland.net]