Chateau Musar, located in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, was founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar. In 1959, after studying oenology at the University of Bordeaux, his son Serge became winemaker. Serge spent 18 years perfecting the formula for Chateau Musar’s Red and was chosen as Decanter Magazine’s first ‘Man of the Year’ in 1984 for his dedication to producing superb quality wines during Lebanon’s Civil War (1975-1990). Recognition from Michael Broadbent, at the 1979 Bristol Wine Fair, threw Musar into the international spotlight and helped create a cult-like following. A legend of a winemaker, often heralded as a philosopher of wine, Serge passed away in 2014. The Hochar family remains committed to his legacy. Serge’s son Gaston manages the day-to-day running of the Chateau Musar winery, while his other son Marc handles its commercial aspects. Ronald Hochar, like his brother Serge, was encouraged to participate at Musar from an early age: both grew up washing bottles and working at the winery before pursuing their separate paths within the business. Having studied law, Ronald’s good-humored contributions on the commercial and logistical fronts (against huge odds he kept Musar’s trucks running during the war) remain vital to the business. Ronald’s son Ralph worked with the on-trade sector in the United Kingdom until early 2017, and is now focused on South East Asia from Chateau Musar’s UK office.
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