The wine-growing estate or winery with its headquarters in the 18th century country castle Mzar (from which the name of the winery is derived) in the city of Ghazir 25 kilometres north of Beirut in Lebanon was founded by the Frenchman Gaston Hochar (1910-1972) in 1930. From 1959, his son Serge (1939-2014), who had trained at the University of Bordeaux, and his brother Ronald (*1944) were responsible for the winery's finances and marketing. Under the advice of the Barton family, the expansion in French oak was introduced in the mid 1950s. The winery suddenly became famous overnight at the 1979 Bristol Wine Fair in England, when all the tasters rated its red wine very highly. This paved the way for further success and brought the Lebanese wine and Serge Hochar the highest recognition worldwide. He became a heroic legend when he continued to produce wine during the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, even though Syrian tanks were in the vineyards (only in 1976 and 1984 there was no harvest due to the war). After the grape harvest, the grapes had to be transported through minefields.