Jean Hugel has just passed away and Alsace, which he loved and promoted so tirelessly all over the world during more than 60 years, feels a great void.
See his brief biography and recent photos of Jean, taken in 2003, 2005 and November 2008 and a photo album of his life. In February 2005 he gave a rare interview on a most secret part of his life: his wartime years.
Born on September 28, 1924 in Riquewihr, the home town of his family since 1639, Jean Hugel ran the family wine business alongside his two brothers, Georges and Andre, from 1948 until 1997.
A very active retiree, Jean truly never left the business until illness overtook him. Jeanny, for all those who knew him well, worked all his life with great passion and determination for Alsace and its wines, particularly Late Harvest and Selection de Grains Nobles which will be his greatest legacy. He wrote the legislative text regulating the conditions of production of these wines which were OFFICIALLY recognized after 7 years of bitter struggle. It is the strictest law of all French wine appellations.
Jean transmitted to his nephews, Jean Philippe, Marc and Etienne, his know-how, his enthusiasm and his will to carry the banner of Alsace always higher. They will continue to work with this same determination that their uncle taught them: to always strive for perfection. He also leaves behind his dear Simone and their two daughters, Dominique and Judith and four grandchildren.
Jean's memory will continue to shine in the skies of Alsace, and whenever we have the great joy of opening one of his wines, like his favourite Riesling Selection de Grains Nobles 1976, the last wine he tasted, it will remain a lasting symbol of a very full and meaningful life..
Those who knew him should feel free to leave their own testimony on this Blog. Thank you Jancis, Tom Stevenson, the New York Times, the Telegraph, the Times, the Guardian and so many of you. Mission accomplished Johnny, you may now retire.