5 MINUTES WITH… Ronald Hochar
This October, Chateau Musar celebrated its 85th anniversary at Palais Msar; also honoring their winemaker Serge Hochar, who transformed his father’s winery in 1959, who passed away last year. LT sat down over a glass with his brother and President Director General, Ronald to find out more about the Lebanese winery’s heritage
WHAT DOES WINEMAKING MEAN TO YOU?
When you plant vines to become grapes, it needs seven years to reach full maturity. To become a Chateau Musar it needs seven more, to reach perfection it’s another seven. That’s 21 years… so you should be seriously optimistic at the minimum. Making wine is a matter of faith. It means we believe in this country.
TELL US HOW THE MUSAR JEUNE WINES CAME ABOUT.
My brother [Serge] was the winemaker, and my role was to find the best way to make our wine worldwide. He was a genius. He took a philosophical approach to winemaking; it was more than just drinking to drink. 20 years ago, I told Serge that I felt the market is changing and the younger generation is coming. The Chateau Musar age group was always 50 plus. Ok, at 21 you don’t have the finesse of taste or the spending power, but at the same time you have to adapt to the young generation.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE AIMS FOR CHATEAU MUSAR?
I remember my father telling my brother, and me: “If you want to be a shoe-shiner, be it, but be the best.” This message was always in our minds. We want to be in as many countries as possible and continue educating people on the culture of wine. To make wine and keep it seven years is not financially sound, but wine is not our pocket; it’s our heart. I hope the next generation will continue this. I said at our event: “This is the wine for the future. I won’t be here anymore but my wine will speak for me.”