For over 370 years and with 13-family generations the Hugel family has unrivaled experience and knowledge of Alsace vineyards and winemaking. Known today for their passion and modern outlook, the dynamic Hugel family, located in the picture-postcard fortified village of Riquewihr, has earned a worldwide reputation for their Alsace wines. Emblematic of the Hugel’s abilities to combine tradition and innovation, the family has recently introduced new wines and bold, more inclusive labeling to call greater attention to Hugel’s entire family and their unique vineyard holdings. At the same time, in the U.S and globally, Hugel has increased the pace of its already strong social media outreach.
The Terroir of Famille Hugel
More than half Hugel’s 61 acres are in what the Hugel family now calls Grossi Laüe vineyards, which translated from Alsatian dialect means Great Growth, the equivalent of “Grand Cru” in Burgundy or “Grosses Gewächs” in Germany. This nomenclature change underscores the Hugel family’s proud ownership of these finest estate vineyards. In particular the Schoenenbourg Grossi Laüe and Sporen Grossi Laüe vineyards are a special source of pride, planted to Riesling and Gerwürtztraminer, with small parcels of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
The Hugel website offers a wealth of information about Alsace wine, www.hugel.com. Hugel has pioneered much advancement in Alsace, including the early creation and classification of the appellation’s Grand Cru vineyards. House specialties include late harvest Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles wines, made with selected botrytis-affected grapes. Vendange Tardive or late harvest wines are the sweet jewels of the Alsace region and in particular, the Hugel family. It was Jean “Johnny” Hugel who first used the term following the 1976 vintage and who personally drafted the guidelines to producing vendange tardive (late harvest) that would become law in 1984. The law is strict and details several variables that must be considered including sugar and alcohol levels, vintage declaration, and vinification techniques.
From Hugel’s Grossi Laüe to Vendange Tardive, their wines are released only when the family agrees they’re ready; the focus is ultimate quality. A first-time taste of these wines is a revelation.
Jean-Frederic Hugel talks about the famous vineyards of Riquewihr and the history of Famille Hugel.