Wine Tasting in Jordan? OMG!


Who knew that Jordan produced wine? Not me. What’s even more exciting is that this particular winery is completely organic (and certified organic)! No big deal for people who have access to Whole Foods, but for me here, this is huge!

We went wine tasting today at St. George’s Winery, near the Syrian border (literally steps away), about an hour outside of Amman. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was surprised by a gem in the midst of nowhere.

Vineyards off in the distance

 We pulled up in front of the estate on the property, a fairly large home (tasting room?) and were welcomed in by friendly staff. The interior of the home was set up for the wine tasting followed by lunch. In the backyard was a beautiful and inviting swimming pool, which we were invited to use after lunch.
The estate on the property
The swimming pool

The tour of the grounds began next to the pool in front of a large pond (or  water containment area) used for irrigating the vines. The tour guide explained  that the pond (fed from wells below ground) contains over 55,000 fish (some koi, some carp). The fish produce nitrate in the water, which they use to irrigate the fields. The fish, along with many other biodiversity techniques are used throughout the operation: to keep the birds out of the grapes, they brought in falcons and owls; chickens are used to aerate  the ground and to dig up worms; doves are also used to eat worms that attack the grapes; (they brought something else in to keep the foxes from eating the chickens, but I can’t remember what he said).

Fish in the pond producing nitrate for irrigating the fields
A feeding frenzy

After our brief introduction to the winery, we walked us through rows and rows of vines, sampling Muscat, Pinot noir, Shiraz, Chardonnay, and lots of other grapes right off the vine. Planted alongside the vines are rosemary, sage, and mint– all natural insect repellents and on the ground of each row is barley to extract salt from the soil.

Sage

Rosemary

Barley

After the tour, we returned back to the main house and were treated to nine wines: 4 whites, one rose, and 4 reds and a fantastic lunch (As a side note,  I was shocked to see the rose had 16% alcohol! ) Unfortunately, there was no gift shop–something they need to get working on.

Here’s a link to a CNN piece on St. George’s Winery.

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8 thoughts on “Wine Tasting in Jordan? OMG!

  1. What a cool winery. They have the edge on a lot of the wineries that we’ve been to on their eco-friendly ways at controlling the pests. How much wine did you buy. Were there any other people wine tasting or was it just you guys? Was that awkward or not. Next time bring your bikini and hang out for a while. I wish that you had posted pictures of the chickens or the falcons.

  2. We didn’t buy any wine. You couldn’t buy it there and we chose to leave early. We went with a large group (maybe 60 people or so so no awkward swirling in front of the sommelier), but drove ourselves. I didn’t see any falcons or foxes or chicken, just little birds eating grapes and some doves flying in the distance.

  3. How interesting! I would have never imagined a winery there either. I like the details about how they run it organically, very creative.

  4. Hi Jen! Sounds like fun going to an unexpected wine country in Jordan! Interesting irrigation system I’ll have to show my brother Charlie, he’s started a business called Aquapono which uses fish to nourish vegetables for gardens, etc. Good to see you both! Take care, Nancy
    Hi Jen,
    Up here in D.C. enjoyed reading !! Take care,
    Kay

  5. Hi Jen,

    I found your blog because I was searching for a wine tasting in Amman. Do you still have information on who you contacted to arrainge the tour? I’m having a hard time getting information on the internet sites.

    1. Hi, there. The American Embassy set up the trip, so I’m not sure about the contact information. However, there’s a wine shop at one of the circles that sold this winery’s wine. Perhaps they could give you contact information. Good Luck. Cheers!

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