Lebanese winery Ixsir celebrates Earth Day by completing 10-year regeneration project
To celebrate Earth Day Lebanese winery Ixsir is marking the full fruition of a 10-year plant regeneration project.
The project, which involved replanting 25,000 indigenous plants, trees and flora which were ruined during the war, was part of the original passion for creating the Ixsir wine business, linking the winery with sustainable agriculture practices.
In 2006 the company was founded with the team deciding to replant the local surroundings by first creating a nursery at the winery, which would focus on regenerating local fauna. Trees that were planted include cypress, oak, wild pistachio, olive, oriental maple, pine and carob. In addition, Ixsir also planted some primrose, cyclamen, gene of Spain and more.
Etienne Debanne, president and co-founder of Ixsir comments, “My passion for creating Ixsir back in 2006 came from believing in the potential of Lebanon and Lebanese terroir not just to make great wine but also to bring out the best of our nature. It is with this conviction that we build what we do at Ixsir be it our sustainable agricultural practices and our winery.
"The re-planting will support our environment beyond just our wines, we also believe this project supports our local community which is very important for infusing the true essence of Lebanon in our company.”
Ixsir’s focus on sustainability is also reflected in the winery itself, which is built underground with Lebanon’s biggest planted roof. It is built within and around a 17th century feudal house, which was restored and serves as the entrance and symbol of Ixsir.
The wine cellar is built 12 metres underground to take advantage of the soil’s thermal consistency instead of mechanical refridgeration and it is built on different floors to make the wine free-flow by gravity from the fermentation tanks to the wine barrels, using very little pumping.
Ixsir claims to be the only winery in Lebanon with a recycling unit for all water used which is then used for irrigation. And 100% of green waste from Ixsir is composted and used as natural fertiliser for the nearby olive tree plantations.