Chateau Musar, Ghazir

Wine Tour / Tasting · Hidden Gem · Food & Drink
Before Greeks and Egyptians knew about wine, Phoenicians, the ancient dwellers of Lebanon, were tending vineyards, making wine and trading as far away as today’s Jerez, and possibly even founded as the port of Cadiz in Spain.

Chateau Musar is located in an 18th Century castle in Ghazir, just fifteen miles north of Beirut, in Lebanon. This location, in a region that for many years was ravaged by civil war, placed demands on the Hochar family that most winemakers, fortunately, do not experience. The vineyards, which lie 30 miles east of Ghazir in the Bekaa Valley, were remarkably close to the frontline. Battle raged around the vines throughout the 1983 harvest, and Serge Hochar had to be smuggled in by small boat to make the wine. Similar conditions were endured in 1988 and 1989, and during the latter year both the Hochar family home and the Chateau Musar winery suffered direct hits from shelling. For a short while the wine cellars served a dual purpose, as they made excellent bomb shelters for the local people.

The grand vin here is the red Chateau Musar, a blend which may include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre. The wine is fermented in concrete, before spending one year in vat, then a year in French oak, before going back to vat for several years. Hochar believes his wine needs years - perhaps ten - before it is ready for drinking, and the wines are already some way towards that age when they are finally released onto the market. The white Chateau Musar is made from native varieties which include Merwah and Obaideh. It has an oxidised style that is too much for some.The wines first appeared on the UK market in 1979, when they were available for tasting at the Bristol Wine Fair. Too many tasters characterise them as "Bordeaux-like", "Rhone-like" or "Burgundy-like". It is clear that Musar is none of these things - it is unique. I accept that this wine can polarise opinion; some think it of high quality or at least good value, whereas others regard it is poor quality, faulty winemaking. I agree with the former with the red, but tend to fall in with the opposite camp where the white is concerned, but it is all down to personal taste. In addition there are a number of lesser cuvées which have been added to the range available on the UK market, some as recently as 2005. For a taste of Musar style, with less outlay and for earlier drinking, the wine to try is Hochar Pere et Fils, which is available as red, white and a rosé too. And there are a selection of second wines, the Cuvée Musar range, also red, white and rosé.

This is our office address in UK:

Chateau Musar (UK) Ltd,

The Barn Woodhouse Farm

Sexton Road

Hedenham

Nr Bungay

Suffolk

NR35 2DQ

Tel: + 44 1508 482733

Fax: + 44 1508 482729

E-mail: info@chateaumusar.co.uk

Website: www.chateaumusar.com

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/ChateauMusar

Twitter : Chateaumusar

This is our address in Beirut:

Achrafieh

Baroudy Street

Sopenco Building

Beirut

Lebanon

P.O.B: 1 281 Beirut - Lebanon

Tel: +961 1 328 200 / 211

Fax: +961 1 201 827
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Chateau Musar reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
20 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We're fortunate to have visited some fantastic wineries around the world but chateau musar will take some beating now! We've certainly never been shown around by someone who has the passion and know.....  more »
  • We arrived at the time of the demonstrations In Beirut to find that people had cancelled or were held up trying to divert around the road blocks. After a short wait, Fadwar decided to give us a...  more »
  • Fantastic place and fantastic wines. We spent a lovely day at this beautiful wineyard. Highly recommended.  more »
Google
  • The staff is very friendly. They offer a great tour with plenty of information on wine production and wine tasting. They have three categories of wine, the most aged one being Chateau Musar (white and red). The Chateau is delicious and costs around 42 dollars (depending on the production year)
  • A really enjoyable tour with Fadia. Great to learn about the wines and a knowledgeable tasting session. Easy to self drive and find too.
  • Unexpected explosion of flavour ! Excellent wine. Hope to visit one day. Please see my photo posted up of a lovely bottle of 2009 that we enjoyed at home in Singapore ... great accompaniment to steak and thyme (see thyme in photo)
  • Great in the winter!!
  • Amazing winery! 🍷🍷

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