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Tri City Herald: Egypt's winemakers seek to revive ancient art

Egypt is unlikely to emerge as a top wine producer anytime soon, or even challenge nearby Lebanon, Israel, Turkey or Greece.
10.06.15 | Interesting article at Tri City Herald

An organic wine producer is growing indigenous grapes near famed pharaonic tombs in central Egypt, vintners in the Nile Delta have modernized a long-neglected 19th century winery, and in Cairo's hotels, tourists can now enjoy Egyptian wine described by an expert as "eminently drinkable."

It's all part of a now 15-year effort to revive Egypt's small wine industry, which mainly caters to tourists. The country's two main winemakers benefit from a customs regime that keeps out virtually all imports, but they face the challenge of growing grapes in a searing desert climate and marketing their products in a conservative Muslim country.

Kouroum of the Nile, an organic winery based in the Red Sea resort of el-Gouna, has planted 120 acres of Bannati grapes, an indigenous variety used for its premium Beausoleil white wine, in central Egypt. The vineyard is an hour's drive north of Beni Hassan, the site of well-preserved 3,600-year-old pharaonic tombs.