Chateau Musar is Lebanon's best-known winery, and for good reason.
Inspired by the millennia of winemaking history in Lebanon, alongside his travels in Bordeaux, Gaston Hochar founded Chateau Musar when he was just 20 years old. His initial wines were met with approval, notably from Major Ronald Barton of Bordeaux's Langoa-Barton fame, when he was stationed in the region during WWII. Gaston's son Serge took over the winery in 1959 and, alongside his brother Ronald, spent decades perfecting the formula for the Chateau Musar Red - even keeping the winery open through Lebanon's civil war, when the cellars were used as bomb shelters, and grapes were harvested only when a break in fighting allowed pickers to dash to the vines and collect what they could.
The efforts proved worthwhile. The red caused a sensation upon its debut in the UK, with Michael Broadbent hailing it as the 'find of the fair' at the Bristol Wine Fair that year. Further fame followed; Serge was nominated as Decanter's first 'Man of the Year' in 1984, with his wine remaining the only Lebanese offering available in the UK for nearly 20 years. The red retains its cult following to this day, with devoted followers praising the terroir, history, and natural skill evident in every bottle.