WINE and WAR - Lebanon Wine Documentary

I wanted to let you know about a new documentary that my partners and I are just finishing up on the winemakers of Lebanon. Credit Jay Selman on this board (Jay and I made all those videos for GrapeRadio back in the day) for introducing me to the wines of Chateau Musar, and to the book ‘Wines of Lebanon’ by Michael Karam.

It was a wine geek’s dream come true that I was able to partner up with Michael Karam and a filmmaking friend Mark Johnston to record some of Serge Hochar’s most poignant words captured for all on film. The film also has appearances by Jancis Robinson MW, the late Michael Broadbent MW, Paul Grieco (Terroir NYC), and will also profile many of the winemakers who made wine during the Lebanese Civil War and the 2006 Summer War.

The film will be released in the fall, however until then here’s our trailer. Cheers, or in Lebanese Arabic they say kééskon!

Awesome Mark! Musar is a top 5 producer by holdings in my cellar. Will this be available on iTunes, etc when released in its full form?

Looks fascinating!

Thanks! Yes, the film will be released digitally, we are working out the details now. Our Facebook page is the best place to stay informed:

I’m super interested in this film. As I’m not on the Facebook, would greatly appreciate an update here when released. Thanks for sharing!

Enticing trailer, Mark. Looking forward to seeing your film.
The Lebanese are a very resilient people and have a way of debrouiller no matter what the situation. A French word that I think English has some rough equivalent of “making the best of a bad situation”, but not exactly. More like being handed chaos and “noise” and finding a resourceful way to live and thrive and come out the other end.

Looks awesome! Can’t wait to see it

I’ll definitely post updates here now that I see there’s interest. Also, you can signup for email updates (sent once in a biodynamic blue moon) on our website:

Beautiful, cannot wait!

Jim, you nailed exactly what intrigued us so much about the Lebanese. We heard it called joie de vivre however debrouiller is more precise. This was what intrigued everyone about Serge Hochar. 90% of Musar was consumed in Lebanon prior to the Civil War. Serge used to say “thank you War for forcing us to bring our wine to the rest of the world” because Musar today is now 90% (or perhaps more) exported.

AD (and everyone else), what are some of your favorite vintages? Have you had the 1984?

Been looking for 84 at a “reasonable” price for long time. Personal favorites are 87, 99 and 00…but haven’t had older the 87 yet.

99 and 00 are great vintages. My favorites at the moment are the 95 and 06.

The documentary goes into depth on the 1984 and 2006 harvests, both of which nearly never happened due to battles very close to the vineyards.


Looks really interesting, looking forward to it coming out.

Mark have you ever explored any of the wines coming out of neighboring Jordan?

Very cool Mark. Enjoyed the trailer. I’ll be on the watch for it.

When we visited we came home with a couple of bottles from Saint George Winery. Cheap and honestly lacking any sort of charm. Most of what we drank there that was domestic was the same.

I drove by coming from Petra however the winery was closed. Like AD, I’ve heard Jordanian wines weren’t great however that was years ago.

IMO, it mainly has to do with irrigation: the premier wine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean region are the Bekaa Valley and the Golan Heights because both are high elevation plains with interesting soil and regular rainfall. In Lebanon there are newer regions such as the Batroun Mountains which are coastal and show a lot of promise.

+1 on Golan Heights. Some pretty good and interesting wines coming out of Israel these days.

Can’t wait to watch!