Serge Hochar, a wine, a family and a land
By Kevin Gould
Published December 2017
Chateau Musar is one of the most remarkable wineries in the world.
In the beautiful but difficult circumstances of Lebanon it produces some of the most instantly recognisable and glorious vintages. This is a winery that grows grapes at an impossible altitude in the Beka’a Valley amidst a landscape racked by conflict over decades.
Yet despite the shells and the bombs, the Hochar family have produced wine year in and year out, scarcely without a break.
The charismatic Serge Hochar is the man behind Chateau Musar’s international recognition, a synonym for unadulterated and singular wines and a synonym for the triumph of sunshine, husbandry and flavour.
Serge summed up the optimism, vitality and doggedness of his company and his country while at the same time turning the language of wine into poetry without pedantry.
Wine-expert and writer Kevin Gould, in these pages, tells the story of the ultimate survivor winery and the man who put it on the map.
It is a story that is, by turn, stirring and moving. Just like the wine itself. Just like Lebanon.
“Serge is the only winegrower I have ever met who engaged in a conversation, almost psychoanalytical exchange, with his wines. He allowed them autonomy. He listened to them, and learned from them.” Andrew Jefford, Wine Writer.
“If you are open to understanding change wine can teach you a lesson of tolerance. When you understand all the flavours and smells and memories experienced over hours come from the same wine, then you will learn not to condemn any wine until you have stayed with it through all its stages.” Elizabeth Gilbert, Author, Eat, Pray, Love.