This Lebanese Co-Op Traded Hash for Wine Grapes

Peter Weltman

The sun blistered down on the small village of Deir el Ahmar, Lebanon, baking the intense terra rosa. A phalanx of half-meter-tall, browned plants poked up from the earth, as if the relenting September heat parched and stunted an evergreen forest. It was fall 2018 and I was in the Bekaa Valley primarily for its ancient viticulture. But, before me were not vines but the local, dry-farmed, and regionally infamous......