Benslimane the green
Benslimane - Morocco’s ripening land.
In 1880, French winegrowers immigrated to Benslimane, the land that saved them from the grapevine destroying pest, phylloxera. Morocco’s fertile lands and accommodating soil helped winegrowers save their industry and allowed their businesses to continue. Locals were ecstatic to have new visitors, as they helped the French winegrowers cultivate Benslimane’s land.
40 million bottles of Moroccan wine is supplied each year, and the industry employs about 10,000 people - the end result is to die for! The Atlas Mountains, 2000 feet into the sky, serves as a home for many vineyards. Thalvin, in association with local landowners in Rommani, has utilised the abundance of black soil in the region to their advantage. Grapes are handpicked in order to ensure quality, with a major emphasis on growing them organically. Without having to use ‘weed-killers’, or herbicide, the yield is often ripe, fresh, and of high quality.
Gaining insight into the wine industry in Morocco will ameliorate your wine experience. Study the history of wine in Morocco, before you pop and pour!
Facing the raging, random ocean of the Atlantic, Ouled Thaleb Estate is approximately 30 kilometers northeast of Casablanca. It is considered as one of the best regions for making wine in Morocco. By using specific types of soil, and a myriad of cultivating techniques, they’re able to produce high-quality wine, while offering a panoramic view of the mesmerising Atlantic Ocean.
It is safe to say that Moroccan wine has made it beyond the Atlantic. Field experts, farmers, and oenologists are making sure that Moroccan wine is produced at the highest quality possible. Thalvin terroirs are supplied to the rest of the world, thanks to affectionate wine-growers and Morocco’s fertile lands.
Essaouira the Mogador
Essaouira - Red, white, and breezy.
Two hours away from Marrakech, you’ll stumble upon this coastal gem. With its captivating 18th-century fortifications, Essaouira has maintained its alluring appeal, especially to surfers who delight in shredding the waves of the Atlantic. Since the early 60s, Essaouira has been a sanctuary for many renowned artists; namely Cat/Yusuf Stevens, Jimi Hendrix, and counterculture figure, psychologist Timothy Leary. Essaouira is still the peaceful seaside city it always was.
In 1994, a vineyard was created by Charles Melia. A vigneron at ‘Château de la font du loup’ since 1977 and a true wine connoisseur. Charles undertook the hardships that come with vineyards and overcame all hurdles, both minor and major.
In order to prune, dig, and clear wells of the vineyard plants, a hefty amount of time is needed. It could take as long as 4 complete years to construct a friendly environment for the vine grapes. The ‘Domaine du Val d’argan’ is dedicated to the French grape variety of Rhone Valley. It remains as the first and only Moroccan vineyard to be solely dedicated to these French varieties.
Over 100,000 bottles of wine are stored in a cellar in Essaouira. Everything is kept traditional and simple, without compromising its richness, quality, and diversity.
Meknes the imperial
Meknes, the Imperialically accommodating
An imperial city with a northern touch. Meknes was founded in the 11th-century. The Almoravids’ history is still roaming Meknes’ paths; given that they were the original founders, their history never wavered.
The Alaouite dynasty founder, Moulay Ismail, transformed Meknes into a new city. Spanish and Moorish styles were emphasised heavily, and that’s one of the many reasons that make Meknes appealing to foreigners.
Nobody, least of all Moroccans, would have thought that the Islamic and European styles would go so well together. This blend has made Meknes a unique city, with a unique appeal.
June 2004, Marks Les Celliers De Meknes’ latest major achievement. The first Moroccan chateau was introduced. Les Celiers De Meknes are the owners of winemaking equipment. Their favoured trait happens to be the excellent mix of modernity and ‘good old traditions’
More than 605 of Morocco’s wine production is distilled in Meknes’ centre, and that was a more than convincing reason for Les Celliers De Meknes to settle within.
Nestled within the foothills of the Atlas, Meknes makes for a perfect vineyard host. Its gleaming sunshine and mild temperature have turned the city into an accommodating host for winemakers.
Rabat the capital
Rabat’s nourishing vineyards
Morocco’s capital and the seventh-largest city centre has a significant role in cultivating wine farms. Once a Barbary pirate haven, Rabat’s renowned farms have been supplying the world with red and white wine since 1908. The wine history in Morocco is synonymous with ‘The Red Farm’. An area that covers 800 hectares, and supplies the finest red grapes.
Planted on sections facing the southwest, La Ferme Rouge (The Red Farm) varies in its crops; cinsault, syrah, Merlot, Tannat, Malbec, and cabrenet-sauvignon. Planted in these fields and spanning over thousands of acres, the grapevines are harvested in a timely, effective, and fashionable manner.
CNN ranked Rabat at the second place in its top travel destinations of 2013. One of Morocco’s imperial cities, and home to an 800-hectare wine sanctuary.