Behind the White Wheel

Behind the White Wheel

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Sept Winery in a 1972 Mercedes 350 SL

Touring and discovering some region in a classic car is always pure pleasure; few days ago, along with my close friends Alison and Kamal, we decided to drive through the region of Batroun, exploring a unique place, a not so common winery.

At the exit towards Batroun, with the scenery starting to change, a quick stop to take off the soft top of the red 1972 350SL becomes necessary.

The wind slapping us from all sides, the unexpected on the move sun tanning, the feeling of being in a far away country, on vacation, detached from all the hustle bustle of every day's tasks and duties and the roar of the V8 engine under the big red hood creates a unique sens of freedom and ignites a lot of positive feelings...

Driving through the small curvy roads of the very traditional village of Nehla leads us to Sept Winery; a dream made true by Maher Harb, who in 2010, against all odds decided to go back to his hometown, pay tribute to his late father and put his heart and soul in the vineyards - that he describes as his "babies".

Maher is proud of calling the different types of white and red wine he produces "Un Vin de Lieu" that has a unique flavor expressing the rich diversity and unique character of the Lebanese soil.

Our favorite white was that produced through the "Obeidy" grapes - a typical Lebanese type of grapes that left us amazed by its imposing yet smooth taste.

The view from Sept is stunning, over-viewing the northern part of Batroun heights at around an altitude of 900m above sea level.

Despite the heat on that day, exploring new regions in a car that was destined to be scraped but ended up restored is a truly remarkable experience...

Some of the parts are still the original ones, some have been changed and others restored; I made it on purpose to keep the hubcaps untouched with the original paint on them, the steering wheel, the dashboard, the radio, the engine, the gearbox...etc. all are still the same doing their "job" since 1972.

That's a big part of the pleasure behind driving a restored car; one lives the blessing of the second chance that has been given to a beautiful machine thanks to patience, hard work and artistic talents...