A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHATEAU MUSAR
When young Gaston Hochar moved to Paris to study Medicine, he never expected to return to his native Lebanon, with a newfound love and grand plans to embark on a new venture…Wine. Not just any wine either, he was determined to make his wines as the French did. Gaston wanted to change the Lebanese wine culture, which focused on bulk production of low-quality wine. He was determined to show the country, and the world, what Lebanese wine was capable of. Chateau Musar, in the Bekka Valley, was born.
From choosing a career that went against his families wishes, to facing extreme difficulties during the civil war, this was not an easy journey, but it was one of perseverance and bravery. In the late 1970’s Gaston had to look for new markets to sell Chateau Musar outside of Lebanon. The French Army had left the country, and they had been the number one consumer for his French inspired wines. This brought him to England, where he had the opportunity to show Chateau Musar at the Bristol Wine Fair in 1979. The wines were instant stars of the show; so wonderful that they made it to Michael Broadbent’s Decanter column where he referred to Gaston’s wines as “the find of the fair”.
Chateau Musar is a wine born from passion and made with respect. It is a winery that conquered the world, and all because Gaston Hochar and his team never gave up. All the people working with him from the pickers to the drivers, all faced the dangers of war. Yet they kept persevering, and the wine world is so lucky that they did; these are wonderful wines that we are very blessed to be able to enjoy, from older vintages to new release.
This is the legacy Gaston left, and it is the work the Hochar family continues today. They still produce their wines with the same love and respect. These aren’t wines produced simply for profit, they have a meaning, they have a purpose. In fact no wine is released until it’s at least 7 years of age (hence 2013 being the new release). Any younger, and the Hochar’s believe the wines won’t show their character. This is the character they want every wine drinker to experience, the true soul of Musar.