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Jean Frédéric Hugel (13th generation) on a US visit


The 13th generation looks very keen to explore new opportunities on the US market...

On the agenda, a couple of days in Colorado which included a radio interview for Wineguys Radio... neeless to say Jean Frédéric's dad is quite proud

Jean Frédéric then attended the Frederick Wildman annual portfolio tasting in New York (photo above) Riesling is back in fashion amongst young sommeliers, just like tattoos... how about a Riesling tattoo ?


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Vintage 2011 in Alsace, from good to glorious ?


From the cool months of July we suspected that 2011 would be another Riesling vintage. The glorious weather 10 days into our vintage seems to confirm our early expectations.

The overall level of quality, from purchased grapes already brings the best hopes for our 2011 vintage.The levels of maturity are beyond our expectations with most plots well over 12,5° potential and probably the biggest surprise is how sound the vast majority of these grapes are ! 

Riesling is our latest ripening variety and it is commonly the best indicator of the overall quality of a vintage. The road seems to be paved for a very good 2011 in Alsace

The weather also seems to be on our side, the low presure system that went by on Sunday night brought just some insignificant rain.  The 10 day weather forecast remains idillic for the foreseable future...

On Tuesday, 20th September, visitors that came all the way from Tainan, Taiwan Claire and Tim LIU who picked their first grapes on their very first winery visit. They were first met, last February as reported on this Blog at a dinner at the Tayih Landis where Claire works.



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Exciting start of our vintage 2011

Vendangeurs.jpgStarted on September 12, the first days of our 2011 harvest were as expected busy, sometime intense due to the size of the crop but rewarding. All grapes were of rather high maturity, some Pinot Blanc well over 12.5° and most  Pinot Gris between 13 and 14° potential. Pinot Noirs were healthy with darkly coloured thick skins. The best plots of our own estate still hanging on their vines with glorious weather and the hope of a 1990 or 2003 replica... due to come in on week two.

Tuesday, September 13 (brother Marc's birthday) was the first day for the Muscat varietals. As far as we are concerned, only about 5 acres are planted with this grape and we harvested as well our own young plot of Muscat (a mix of white and red Muscat d'Alsace à petits grains) located in the Schoenenbourg.

From Thursday on and for the rest of the week we started to bring in the first gewurztraminers purchased from vineyards located mainly in the region south of Colmar in clay and limestone soils. Large size crop but with ripenings mostly over 13° potential  

On the very first day of harvest, we received a couple of foreign visitors, Dan Muntean with his wife Roxana whose company Halewood imports our wines into... Romania

On the anecdote or off the record count, a veritable paparazzi for our former employee Charles Klack on his Vintage Porsche diesel as he was delivering his grapes. Charles is becoming the star on wheels of this vintage coverage and promisses us a complete renovation of his 1958 tractor for next year...

With days when the attention of many is turned towards the rugby world cup, we take the opportunity to introduce to you Sam Teakle.  Sam has worked at several top wineries in Australia and is staying with us for the duration of the harvest, an old tradition wich also give us a chance to keep in touch with the "New World" and to practice the language. As Sam works during the times when the games are played in New Zealand, each game is taped for him... here he is watching the All Blacks playing Japan in the bosses' office with Kronenbourg beer delivered cold and timely for the end of his work.

The same evening, a flower from Israël came to see us...  Yasmin caught in front of the winery with her family and saying "WOW HUGEL" as your servant was passing by to drive the next lorry into the courtyard. YES, it's me was the reply... all ended-up with a tour of the premisses and tasting joined by charmed staff.

A harvest with definite added pleasures... and a presidential visit


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Visit of the President of Poland to Riquewihr and Hugel


A prestigious visit on September 13, in the middle of our busiest time of harvest...
André Hugel president of the Riquewihr historical society was on duty for the tour of town (picture above) and of the Hugel premisses, including a family photo with Etienne in front of Sainte Caterine cask followed by a brief tasting of Riesling Jubilee 2005 and Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive 2003.
Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski and his wife were absolutely charming, as were the entire delegation of ministers and key officials, all were absolutely amazed to see we had a Hugel brochure in Polish, the President took an extra copy with him, sign of his interest for wine.
He said Poland can compete with Russia on Vodka, with Germany on beer but against those wines they have nothing "local" to offer...
Our proud Polish agents, Centrum Wina immediately commented: Looks like the Head of Poland is interested in the breaking the current dominancy of beer and spirits and bringing wines under the roofs of the average Polish household.
Let's drink to that...
The President kindly signed our visitors' book and left a note in Polish which we should soon have translated
Everyone received a gift of some Hugel wines with a card that mentions the contact details of Centrum Wina in Warsaw...we cannot only give away wines, sometimes we need to sell some ;-)


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2011 Alsace vintage outlook at D-1


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2011 vintage, review of the season

Vendangeurs.jpgFollowing a very cold winter, with 26 days constantly below freezing, normal budbreak around April 7 was followed by very rapid growth and some vineyards began to suffer from the drought.

Very early flowering, starting May 20, a good 3 weeks ahead of normal. June was very wet and cool and a month of July reminding us of 2007.

The last three weeks of August, heat waves with several nights above 20° C, then cooler and dry in early September.

Check the data from our weather station, with minimum and maximum temperatures and daily rainfall for July and August

Overall we expect a good harvest in volume particularly for Gewurztraminer following a very reduced 2010 crop. Grapes remain healthy, with levels of acidity that have significantly dropped with the heat wave of late August.

The 10 day weather forecast remains favourable, time now for the final preparations and berry samplings to monitor the evolutions of sugars and acids...

Our harvest will start on September 12 with big smiles on many faces and the now traditional reporting on this Blog and on Facebook 

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