In 1639 the Hugel family settled in the picturesque little town of Riquewihr in Alsace, where they have remained ever since. Today Famille Hugel retains the character of a true family wine business and is currently managed by the 12th and 13th generations of the family.Famille Hugel owns an estate of 30 hectares of prime sites around the historic and picturesque town of Riquewihr in the heart of Alsace, where vineyards have been cultivated for more than 2,000 years, bringing wealth and prosperity to the region’s inhabitants. More than half of these vineyards are classified as Grand Cru: the Schoenenbourg, known for its Riesling, and the Sporen for its Gewurztraminer. It also buys grapes from a further 100 hectares farmed by partner growers who have the same clay and limestone dominated terroirs that help to define the unique character and style of Famille Hugel wines. All grapes are, and always have been, picked by hand. The Hugel estates are exclusively planted with the noble Alsace grape varieties and the vines have an average age of 35 years. Famille Hugel production averages 100,000 cases per year, of which around 90% is exported to more than 100 countries worldwide, where the name ‘Alsace’ has become synonymous with Hugel wines.
It also Alsace is the second driest wine region in France and has a unique climate that allows the grapes to ripen slowly, thanks to its fine “Indian Summer”. This produces dry, well-balanced wines with great finesse and unequalled intensity. As such, they make a perfect match for most Western and Asian cuisine. Hugel wines, with their widely recognised yellow labels, express the pure character of each grape variety and specific terroir, with no need for added wood ageing or sweetening.
As one of Alsace’s leading wine producing families, Famille Hugel have been instrumental in shaping the laws that govern the production of the region’s wines. They drafted the legislation governing the production of late-harvest Alsace wines – the Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles - and they were also responsible for reviving ‘Gentil’, a traditional blend of Alsace noble grapes. This is Hugel’s only wine that is not produced from a single grape variety and revives an ancient Alsace tradition whereby a wine that was assembled from a range of noble grapes was called “Gentil”. Perfectly dry, it brings together the elegance of Riesling, the richness of Pinot Gris, the fruit-driven aromas of Gewurztraminer and Muscat, and the freshness of Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner.
Hugel 'Classic' wines:
The ‘Classic’ wine range embodies the essence of the pure, dry Famille Hugel style. The grapes are exclusively hand-picked from vineyards with predominantly clay-limestone soils in Riquewihr and neighbouring villages. Hugel have introduced elegant and refined new labelling for their Classic range to relfect their “dry wines without compromise” ethos.
Hugel 'Estate' wines:
These wines epitomise the true expression of the great terroirs of Riquewihr. They are only available in three grape varieties (Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris) which come entirely from selected plots on the family estate. Each variety represents 40% of the acreage, on the two most celebrated slopes of Riquewihr. Riquewihr marl gives this Riesling the characteristic minerality of the Schoenenbourg. Riquewihr clay gives this Gewurztraminer the characteristic richness of the Sporen.
Hugel 'Grossi Laüe' wines:
After Réserve Exceptionnelle in the 1930s, Réserve Personnelle in the 1960s and Jubilee to celebrate Hugel’s 350th anniversary in 1989; Famille Hugel has introduced Grossi Laüe (signifying the finest vineyards in Alsace dialect). Much more than just a new label, these wines mark a return to the timeless cultural values of the family, deeply anchored in their historic vineyard terroirs.
Hugel 'Vendange Tardive' wines:
The full pride of Famille Hugel is expressed in these wines whose development they pioneered by drafting legislation that regulates the conditions of production. These exceptional wines are produced from over-ripe grapes, affected by noble rot (botrytis cinerea). Vendange Tardive represents the first level of concentration, giving wines that are deep, rich, and opulent.
Hugel 'Sélection de Grains Nobles' wines:
Sélection de Grains Nobles (SGN) wines come from botrytised grapes, individually hand-picked and when vinified with extreme care. The resulting nectar of unique elegance and complexity produces a wine with almost unlimited ageing potential. They are truly among the most prestigious wines of France.
The Hugel cellars, located under XVIth century buildings in the heart of medieval Riquewihr, contain large oak barrels more than a century old, including the famous “S. Caterine” barrel, dated 1715, the oldest working wine cask in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. Famille Hugel is an elected member of Primum Familiae Vini, an association of some of Europe’s most prestigious wine families, which promotes the values of tradition and excellence.