”I only know how to make wine, but I know nothing about wine” is just one of the sarcastic philosophical quotes of Serge Hochar of Chateau Musar, who recently passed away at the age of 75. A producer who was born in the turmoil country of Lebanon, losing nearly 90% of its turnover in 1972 due to the war outbreak, as until then he has mainly active in the domestic market.

this is not a story about Chateau Musar, but about a man’s wisdom who was not in a rush

Hochar managed to produce “only” 56 vintages Lebanon’s icon wine; Chateau Musar.

But this is not a story about Chateau Musar, but about a man’s wisdom who was not in a rush. Instead it took him nearly twenty years of experimenting to finally compose the ultimate blend of his red wine. After testing both Syrah and Mourvedre he opted for a blend made out of Cabernet Sauvignon together with Cinsault and Carignan.

Bearing this in mind, we started to wonder about how many wine-producers exist with such a sense of time and patience as Serge Hochar had. His reds matured for one year and a half in oak, racked back into the tank for another more year and finally bottled- aged for approximately two years. Same for his whites, he was never in a hurry to bottle them.

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For Hochar, time was a blessing to the wine, and so he offered it generously without counting the cost, even when he didn’t had such luxury. He perceived time as his ally and his faith in time was rising above anything else.

At this point, we came across another of his statements: ”The wine as it ages, is getting younger and more full bodied”. First surprise, then a whole new perspective arose right in front of us. ” Why? ” someone questioned him, ” Why? I have no clue. This year I did my 56th harvest and discovered that it is still not enough. It takes 2.000 years to fully understand why. Wine teaches you the philosophy of time, the philosophy of taking it slowly”.

The philosophy of slowness of mister Hochar. The ”Slowness” of Milan Kundera. Expectations, patience, maturity, the blessings of aging. The secret wisdom of great people. We are searching our library to trace ”Slowness”. ”Laughable loves”, ”The Book of Laughter and Forgetting”, ”Identity” all are there, but absolutely nowhere is ”Slowness”.

Where have we lost it? Where those wise words are gone? Where have we left the philosophy of slowness?


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