After a decline in wine production over the years, interventions by King Hassan II coupled with foreign investment has seen Moroccan-wine production increase once again. Here are some of the best places today to learn more about the industry and sample delicious local wines in Morocco.
Morocco has produced wine for hundreds of years, going back to the Phoenician and Roman eras. The industry really took off, however, during the time of French-colonial rule; now, as well as having some of the best conditions for producing wines in North Africa, Morocco is now the second-largest wine-producing country in the Arab world (following Algeria).
Château Roslane, located in Meknes, has a large wine cellar, 700 hectares (1729.74 acres) of vineyards, and attractive gardens filled with blossoms, fountains, and seating areas. There are also several indoor-seating areas with traditional-Moroccan designs and décor. Visitors can see how the grapes are processed and turned into wine in addition to, of course, tasting locally-made wines. As well as producing several premium wines, including “Cru” White and Red, the winery also creates a fair-trade wine, which benefits the local community further.
The prestigious Château Roslane is the first estate in Morocco to be permitted to use the Château name. It is part of the expansive Les Celliers de Meknes estate, a large wine company that has vineyards in four different parts of Morocco: the top-class Les Coteaux de l’Atlas, Berkane, Beni M’tir, and Guerrouane. Guests of Château Roslane can taste wine made with the grapes from the different areas. Visits should be arranged in advance.
Château Roslane, El Hajeb Province, Meknes-Tafilalet, Morocco, +212 5355-20360
Domaine de la Zouina is a historic winery in Meknes. Created by the French at the start of the 20th century, it was the birthplace of the renowned Volubilia label. In addition to 85 hectares (210.04 acres) of vineyards the pretty estate also has 15 hectares (37.07 acres) of olive groves and various other trees and plants. The colonial villa dates back to the 1930s and adds a certain charm to the area. The wines made here are often said to be some of the best in the whole country. In 2006, the estate won an award for the Best Olive Oil in the World. Sample fine wines and oils and dine on tasty cuisine while admiring the views. Visitors can also treat themselves to some goodies to take home.
Domaine de la Zouina, Commune d’Aït Bourzouine, BP63 Boufekrane, Meknès, Morocco, +212 5354-33034
Taste reds, whites, and roses at Domaine Ouled Thaleb. Don’t miss the estate’s signature wine too. Called Ouled Thaleb Signature, it blends marselan, petit verdot, and carmenere grapes for a fruity, floral, juicy, and chocolatey taste. Many may be familiar with the estate-produced Syrocco label as it is one of the most popular Moroccan wines in the US. It is, however, labeled as Tandem within Morocco. The winery is also known for its high quality olives. The panoramic restaurant offers the ideal place to relax and soak up the vistas while choosing the best wine to pair with a sumptuous meal.
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