Wine and Jordan are perhaps something you wouldn’t naturally put together.

When you think of the beautiful country of Jordan, you will think of incredible landmarks such as Petra, the Dead Sea, and Wadi Rum.

Wineries in Jordan

However, Jordan has a small yet growing wine industry that is starting to show its strengths.

Jesus may have drunk wine from Jordan at the Last Supper.

It is said that the wine Jesus was served during the Last Supper came from what is northern Jordan today.

Several wine presses have been uncovered by archaeologists over the years, with some said to be of industrial scale.

Winemaking in Jordan goes back centuries when the process was perfected at the time to ensure a supply big enough was available to the local population.

Sadly, the local varieties of vines have been wiped out over the years and no longer exist as far as anyone knows.

This necessitated importing varieties from abroad when the modern wine industry in Jordan was started in 1975.

St. George and Jordan River are two top wineries in jordan

They grow their grapes in Mafraq in northern Jordan, where the high elevation and local soil are the right conditions.

Here’s how to enjoy wine tasting with them in Jordan:

St. George

Tasting Room

St. George is produced by Zumot Wines and is the only 100 percent organic vineyard in Jordan. Tasting St. George wines is by far the easiest in Amman.

It has a shop based centrally called The Winemaker in Jabal Amman, 129 Arar St., Wadi Saqra, 11115 Amman, Jordan.

Here you can sample St. George wines as well as many others – it has more than 30 varieties of wine.

Not only is it home to a huge variety of wines, the building itself is an impressive architectural experience inside.

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a different world from the Amman outside the door.

Very conveniently, it has a superb restaurant attached to the shop called Le Container.

Apart from the normal menu, it holds lots of specialty evenings where the best ingredients are imported from throughout the world.

The chef is European and prides himself on traveling to various countries where he sources his ingredients and picks them up personally.

vineyard-tours at JR Wines
Vineyard tours at JR Wines. Photo by JR Wines

Vineyard Tours

If you want to venture out of Amman and visit the St. George vineyard, tours are offered over the summer. From late April to September, you can visit the vineyard in Mafraq – about a 1 1/2-hour drive from the capital.

You’ll be given a tour of the vineyard, where they will explain how they use nature to nurture their vines.

After the tour, you’ll be treated to a traditional Jordanian lunch of grilled meats and salads.

Afterward, you’ll have the option to relax by the naturally heated pool.

It’s a relatively relaxed tour with a variety of wines, and is a very enjoyable day trip from Amman.

tasting-room 2
Tasting room at JR Wines. Photo by JR Wines

JR The Wine Experience

Jordan River (or JR Wines as it is known) also has a tasting room in the center of Amman.

JR The Wine Experience was the first winetasting operation in Jordan and is the destination for wine enthusiasts to get a sense of its heritage and get a glimpse into the winemaking industry.

You will be guided through the history of winemaking in Jordan, and learn what makes the wine so special in this region.

Afterward, you will be invited to try three different wines from a selection of more than 80 varieties that it produces.

You may order snacks from a food menu to enjoy with your winetasting.

The real benefit here is being able to choose the wines that you want to try.

It’s rare to get that freedom of choice. But, be prepared, this isn’t a traditional winetasting.

As Jordan is still relatively new to producing wine, it still hasn’t quite mastered what a Westerner would deem as a wine tasting experience.

However, what JR Wines produces is really enjoyable.

vineyard-tours-2
Vineyards at JR Wines. Photo by JR Wines

Vineyard Tours at JR Wines

As with St. George, JR Wines offers tours between April and November.

This is a full-day tour where you get to sample more than five different types of wine it produces.

Your tour will start with visiting the 100-hectare (247-acre) vineyard based in the Basalt Desert of Jordan.

wine-in-jordan
Sunrise over the vineyard. Photo by JR Wines

Following this, you’ll get to tour the winery, where you’ll learn about the different types of wine that it produces.

You’ll experience firsthand how they make the wine and will get to taste it straight from the barrels. Lunch is also included on this tour, a much needed requirement for a full day wine tour.

Tariq Nasir is an Arab American food blogger and founder of ChefTariq.com. He empowers the everyday home cook to bring Middle Eastern cuisine to their table. Growing up as a refugee, Nasir has a passion for bringing people together and has found that the dinner table is the perfect place. He has traveled the globe – 3 million miles over the past 20 years – immersing himself in diverse cultures. Nasir lives in Jordan with his wife and dog Max.