Located in Ghazir, Chateau Musar is among Lebanon’s most celebrated wineries. We learn more about the history of the brand and why it is so popular locally and internationally.
Chateau Musar was established in 1930 by Gaston Hochar. The third generation of the family are now at the helm, running the business and making the wines with the same passion and dedication as when it first started.
The wines of Musar gained international acclaim in 1979 at the Bristol wine fair, where the eminent critic Michael Broadbent propelled the brand into the spotlight. In 1984, Decanter Magazine honored Serge Hochar with its first “Man of the Year” award.
Since then, Chateau Musar has gone from strength to strength to become one of the most recognized Lebanese wineries outside Lebanon.
The vineyards and wines
Chateau Musar’s red vineyards are situated towards the southern end of the Bekaa Valley, north of Lake Qaroun and about 30km southeast of Beirut. The ancient and indigenous white grapes of Obaideh and Merwah are grown in vineyards at even higher altitudes on the mountain slopes, some 1,500m above sea level.
The wines are produced with the family philosophy of natural winemaking in mind and are split into three categories: Château Musar, a rich and complex wine blend; Hochar Pere et Fils; and Musar Jeune, which is fruity and modern. The grape varieties used in the wines are Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Syrah and Grenache for the reds, and Viognier, Vermentino and Chardonnay for the Jeune white. The Château Musar white is produced from indigenous varieties: Obaideh and Merwah.
Today, more than 80% of Chateau Musar’s production is exported.
The appeal of Musar
Every bottle of wine of Chateau Musar is produced naturally with a non-interventionism philosophy. Indeed, the winery was the first in Lebanon to implement organically certified viticulture.
The late Serge Hochar, son of the founder of Musar, once said: “When you are a winemaker, you have the luck to work with something that is alive and you should never kill it.”
Those who are interested in experiencing Chateau Musar firsthand can visit the winery, where free wine tasting tours are available from Monday to Saturday (by appointment only). For more information, call +961 9 925127.