Chateau Musar was founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar. In 1959, after studying oenology at the University of Bordeaux, his son Serge became winemaker. The civil war that tore Lebanon apart from 1975 to 1990 did not defeat Chateau Musar; Serge refused to abandon the wine, and lost only the 1976 and 1984 vintages to the war. Owing to his inspiring determination and grand passion for his wines, Serge received the inaugural “Man of the Year Award” from Decanter magazine in 1984. Recognition from Michael Broadbent, at the 1979 Bristol Wine Fair, threw Musar into the international spotlight and helped create a cult-like following. Chateau Musar is one of the most written-about and discussed wines in the world today.
Region: Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Year Founded: 1930
Proprietors: Serge & Ronald Hochar
Winemaker: Serge Hochar
Size of property: 150 Hectares (371 acres)
Amount of Property Planted: 150 hectares (371 acres)
Terroir: The vineyards of Chateau Musar are located in the Bekaa Valley and in Mount Barouk, around Kefraya and Aana, which is about a two-hour drive from the winery in Ghazir, just north of Beirut. The Bekaa Valley receives an average of 300 days of sunshine annually, and 1,000–2,000mm (39–78 inches) of rain per year. The Bekaa has a Mediterranean climate and an altitude of more than 900 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level. The soil is predominately gravelly with a limestone base. The white vines are 100–150 years old, and are located at 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) above sea level.
Annual Production: 58,000 cases (all wines)/696,000 bottles
Varieties Cultivated: Red: Cinsault, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah & Grenache. White: Obaideh (a native of Chardonnay) and Merwah (a native variant of Semillion), Chardonnay, Viognier & Vermentino.
Organic/Sustainable/Other Certifications: Organic Vineyards Certified By IMC