Unique wines, ancient traditions
“When you’re a winemaker, you have the luck to work with something that is alive and you should never kill it”. A quote by the late Serge Hochar, ‘father of Lebanese wine’, the driving force behind Lebanon’s Chateau Musar and the first Decanter Man of the Year.
Born in1939, Serge Gaston Hochar had originally studied to become a civil engineer, but quickly found in wine both a professional calling, and a reason for existing, describing wine as ‘an answer to the mystery of existence’. In 1959, his first formal vintage involvement was bottling the 1956 vintage Chateau Musar which had been made by his father, Gaston Hochar. Gaston had established Musar in the 1930s, determined that his country, Lebanon, should re-establish the fine wine industry of ancient days.
Chateau Musar is located in Ghazir, 24 kilometers north of the capital but their grapes are grown in the Bekaa Valley at an elevation of 1,000m. Every wine of Chateau Musar is produced naturally with a ‘non-interventionist’ wine making philosophy. The winery was the first in Lebanon to implement organically certified viticulture in 2006 for its Chateau Musar red and white grapes. But wine was first produced in Lebanon around 10,000 years ago.