Accident claims the life of Serge Hochar
Wine industry loses key player
Lebanese winemaker Serge Hochar (74) passed away in a swimming accident in Mexico on New Years’ Eve.
Hochar, owner of Chateau Musar winery, took over his father Gaston's vineyard in 1959, after studying the wine business in Bordeaux, France. He said to his father: "I want to make the wine my way, and I want it to be known worldwide".
Under Hochar’s watch the winery became world famous for its wines made from grapes grown in the Bekaa Valley.
Hochar, Gaston's eldest son trained as a civil engineer, and then decided to study oenology. With the encouragement of his father he became a student of Emile Peynaud at the University of Oenology in Bordeaux.
Hochar was renowned for his resilience in continuing to produce vintages of Chateau Musar all through the Civil War , growing export sales as its domestic market suffered.
The chateau's reds, especially the 1967 Musar, won international approval and helped put Lebanon's modern-day winemaking on the map.
Hochar was a former president of Union Vinicole du Liban (UVL), which was established in 1997. UVL was serious about establishing a regulatory national wine and there was even a spirited initiative to sell Lebanon as a wine tourism destination.
He leaves behind his wife and two sons: Gaston, who has been in charge of the day-to-day running of Château Musar for some years and Marc, who is in charge of commercial activities.
Date Posted: Jan 05, 2015