For over 370 years and with 13-family generations the Hugel family has unrivaled experience and knowledge of Alsace vineyards and winemaking. Without the work of the remarkable Hugel family, located in the picture-postcard fortified village of Riquewihr, the worldwide reputation of Alsace wine would not be the same.
Over half Hugel's 30-hectares are in Grand Cru vineyards Sporen and Schoenenbourg, a special source of pride, planted to Riesling and Gewurztraminer, with small parcels of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Winemaking is transparent, so that fruit, soil and vintage are clearly conveyed in the glass. Handpicked grapes come to the winery in small tubs, are rigorously sorted then gravity-fed into the presses without pumping. After gentle pressing the must is decanted before a long, slow fermentation in temperature-controlled barrels or vats at 64 to 72°F. The wine is racked once, before slow natural clarification over the winter. "Hugel" wines are the quintessence of Alsace.
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 Grand Cru vineyards. Today, Hugel prefers not to use the Grand Cru designation, because the original boundaries and number of these vineyards have been expanded to include less-favored sites. House specialties include late harvest Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles wines, made with selected botrytis-affected grapes. 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.
From The Wine Advocate "First of all, the name Hugel & Fils is passé, the new name is Famille Hugel. This underlines the fact that the domaine is family-owned since 1639, respectively 13 generations, and that there are currently three generations representing the Hugel "tribe," as Etienne Hugel calls his family: André Hugel and his sons Jean-Philippe, Etienne and Marc, nephew Jean-Philippe, together with the 13th generation, the cousins Jean-Frédéric, Marc-André and Christian. "We are on the move," says Etienne Hugel, one of the busy bees of the family that produces 100,000 cases per year, of which around 90% is exported to more than 100 countries worldwide.
Indeed the domaine has recently announced the first comprehensive changes since 1921 (when the Maggi-yellow color of the labels was introduced), starting the 1st of September. "Much more than just a change of name, the presentation and structure of our range of wines has been totally renovated," Etienne Hugel reports."