Deeply rooted in the Levant, the Johnny R. Saadé family translates its passion for vines through the creation of Château Marsyas in the southern part of the Bekaa valley. Known for its wine culture, this ancient land reveals itself to be an exceptional place for the creation of a great wine in line with the highest quality standards. Located at an altitude of 900 meters, Château Marsyas is a family initiative founded on the search for excellence. The wine is made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot for the red, and Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay for the white.
Cited by Strabo and Pliny the Elder, Marsyas is the ancient name of the Bekaa valley situated between Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon. It draws its name from the famous Phrygian Satyr who symbolized the freedom of man in the face of the Gods, and once defied Apollo in a musical contest to find himself flayed to death. Marsyas came also to symbolize the liberty of ancient autonomous cities. A follower of Dionysus, otherwise known as Bacchus, the God of wine, he was among the silenes who spread the culture of wine in the ancient world. The Marsyas Valley, also known to the ancient Arabs as Noah’s Valley in reference to the alleged burial site of the biblical prophet, is primarily known for the sacred temples
Embedded within a strong eastern tradition, the Johnny R. Saadé family draws, from its Levantine roots, a passion for challenges among which the renaissance of the ancient vineyards of the Orient.
The Saadé family is a typical representative of Levantine syncretism with roots in the ancient coastal city of Laodicea (modern Lattakia) as well as Antioch, Alexandria, Tripoli (Lebanon) and Mount Lebanon. The Saadé family traces its mercantile roots to the 18th and 19th century with prominent representatives such as Gabriel Saadé (1854-1939) and the visionary Rodolphe Saadé (1900-1956). With an initial involvement in commodities’ trading and various industries, the family developed maritime and land transport activities on the initiative of Johnny R. Saadé, Rodolphe’s son, in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and France. Diversification was quick to follow with new activities in the wine making, tourism, real estate and financial fields.
It is with these words that Château Marsyas defines its philosophy deeply rooted in vine cultivation and the agricultural aspect of the ancient craft of wine making. A quality wine is the result of patience which characterizes a certain philosophy and an exceptional product. Château Marsyas is intended to translate human virtues that cannot be expressed other than through the fundamental elements of nature.
Stephane Derenoncourt the well known Bordeaux consultant of Château Marsyas recounts the beginning of his collaboration with the Saadé family:
“I met the Saadé family for a wine project proposal. I was instantly seduced by the Syrian project which consisted in creating a vineyard in a land on which it used to grow in ancient time. I was also struck by the passion and dynamism of the Saadé family who decided to come back and develop new projects in Syria. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the site and the diversity of soils: Everything was set to start this beautiful adventure. More familiar to my palate, the Bekaa valley located between arid mountains, offers already well-known limestone soils. To take a leading place in Lebanese wine production is a seducing challenge”.