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First day of Rieslings and first harvest together of the youngsters

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Starting this second week of our 2009 harvest, comes the first Rieslings with excellent levels of maturity, almost all lots reaching 11,5° potential and some of the best even above 13° which, for this late ripening veriety is simply remarquable. Grapes remain abolutely healthy as for the rest of the varietals.

Another memorable event of the day is the first harvest together of  both cousins, Marc André and Jean Frédéric Hugel, both aged 20 who are still at present in their university studies. A blessing for us to have an early vintage, and good for their own budget ;-)

There is no shortcut in their training to become one day fully part of our family company. Just like their predecessors, they have to start from the very basic jobs, and there are plenty of them during a vintage. Today, they take part in maturity checks which on this busy day meant over 1000 measurements. A good opportunity also for both  to participate in the destemming of Pinot Noirs which again reached over 13° potential, and yet our best estate Pinots are still hanging on their vines.

This precious help of our youngsters reminds me that in the course of this single harvest, your Blogger has moved up the ladder of responsablities from Hugel junior to Hugel senior. That's life... The cruel absence of uncle Johnny gave me almost naturally the responsability to look after, most of the morning of a Hong Kong TV crue. They flew all the way, a cast of over a dozen to Alsace for a series on French wines in an important market for us. The program should be broadcasted around Christmas on the main Chinese network.

A wet front had been forecasted last Sunday but after some dark clouds over us most of the weekend, it will be less than 10mm of rain in total and the 10 day weather forecast remains absolutely ideal . This 2009 is indeed taking a very good course...

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