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The stories are many, handed down from generation to generation, each version is slightly different, but they all start with Wardy -- Wardy (Rose) Mousallem.
In some versions she’s our great-great-grandmother, which would place her in the late 18th or early 19th century. In others, she’s even older. What they all have in common is how remarkable she must have been. Living in the lush Zahle region of Lebanon, her husband -- a tough guy, possibly a freedom fighter -- worked the fields and owned orchards and vineyards at a time when making wine and arak were common in all Lebanese homes. He was ambushed and killed by the Ottoman army. Wardy, left a young widow with three young children, came into her own and assumed the role of matriarch to the entire family. So much so, her children started to be referred to as Wardy’s Children, the house became Wardy’s house, the orchard Wardy’s orchard, the vineyard Wardy’s vineyard -- Her name became more important than her husband’s surname.
They became the Wardys.
We became the Wardys.
A young Middle Eastern woman -- a widow, a single mother -- working the fields to support her young children. Fearless, strong, confident, intelligent, tough. She must have been an extraordinary woman.
We at Domaine Wardy like to think that this is her “Domaine”, her vineyards, her wines, and her arak.
In her honor, an artisanal rose, will be featured on all our packaging.
We also commissioned the outstandingly talented Lebanese artist Raya Mazigi, to draw an imagined portrait of her that will be displayed at the winery. The portrait is based on the average of the facial features of all the Wardy women over the past 120 years.