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The Summergate Riesling Revolution tour of China

A Riesling revolution has just swept across China! Peter Barry of Jim Barry Wines, Etienne Hugel of the Hugel family, and Ernst Loosen of Dr Loosen  have joined forces with their importer and distributor Summergate, to challenge the reign of red wine in China. All through the week, the group conducted tastings, master classes, and media events across the region to celebrate the greatness of Riesling in all its many styles. The tour started in Macau, and moved on to the cities of Xiamen in Fujian province, and Chengdu in Sichuan province, followed by gala events in Shanghai, finally culminating in the capital city of Beijing on Saturday April 12th.

"We are championing Riesling as a spearhead of the white wine revolution in China. There is no better way to break China's red obsession than our Riesling Revolution tour with this trio of Riesling magicians" said Summergate founder and General Manager Ian Ford. "I expect our sales of Riesling to much more than double in the months and years ahead" said Ford.

China has been known for years as a red wine market, highlighted in the recent film "Red Obsession". The IWSR recently stated that China is now the largest red wine consuming nation on earth, at an estimated 1.86 billion bottles including domestic production.

"Summergate together with these three great producers are the first to take a huge step forward in promoting and celebrating Riesling and white wine, on a large scale, across this country" said Ford.

The "Riesling Revolution" tour climaxed in Beijing on Saturday April 12th, highlighted by a Riesling tasting review from all three producers, and a gala dinner with the Capital's top wine enthusiasts.

For the Hugel family, a solid presence in Asia dates back to the 1950's and now covers virtually every country in the region. Mainland China is clearly now the latest challenge.

With a website in 4 Asian languages, the simplified Chinese website has just been enriched with detailed product descriptions for the wines featured on this tour: Riesling Hugel 2012 and Riesling Jubilee 2007.

The above selection of photos our the Summergate Riesling Revolution tour can be found here https://www.flickr.com/photos/123206995@N05/sets/72157643938707823/

More details on http://www.summergate.com


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Tuna cutting show in Tokyo with celebrity chef and actor

... with famous Japanese actor Hiroki Matsukata holding a bottle of our Riesling Jubilee 2005


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Hugel Weine jetzt bei Mövenpick

Freunde unserer Weine in der Schweiz können sich jetzt freuen dass seit einigen Wochen eine gute Auswahl Hugelweine bei Mövenpick zu finden sind.

14 Weinkeller in der Schweiz aber auch 14 in Deutschland und im Fürstentum Liechtenstein und sehr bald in die neue moderne state of the art Wein Bar in Zürich. Santé !

Hugel | Foto Reportage von Etienne Hugel | Plein écran | Wine Media Library


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Interview on Riesling and Rugby, also on Alsace climate change

Kindly taped by Riki at Planet of Grapes in London and posted on drinkslover Facebook page on October 7, the day before my birthday, and before les Bleus' victory on England in the Rugby World cup...

Nice informal chat, on Alsace Riesling, styles and Rugby...


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Vinexpo 2011 live

Many news this year with the launch of the Hugel mobile site
... and a large contingent of young Hugels from the 13th generation, Charlotte and Jean Frédéric together with their cousins Marc André and Christian all present on our stand.
Photos added live as it proceeds...

Hugel | 640x640 | Plein écran | Wine Media Library


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Market visit to Tokyo 10 weeks after, Gambatte Japan !

A full pictures report from a few days in Tokyo, just about 10 weeks after March 11.
First part with good friends François Bannier and Gregory Hecht of Hecht & Bannier and the fantastic team of Jeroboam for their seasonnal trade tasting. Hugel wine dinner at BEIGE Alain Ducasse, lunch at Mitsuwa-Ginza with media Blogger Fumiko Aoki, instore tasting and bottle signing at Tokyu Honten followed by JFWC Party at Biervana. Attending was Mika Walker who I had seen with her husband in Bombay last Frebruary. Check Mika's Bog, Mika was runner-up Miss Universe 1995...
Tuesday, some staff training at the newly moved Tokyo American Club and Hugel wine dinner at ARGO, restaurant français.
Nihon Gadaiski, Gambatte Japan !

Hugel | Tokyo_2011 | 640x640 | Plein écran | Wine Media Library


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De beste asperges met Hugel wijnen... what else ?


White Dutch asperges is a classic match with our wines so time has come again to visit Holland this spring as the season is early this year due to an outstanding spring weather. The occasion could not have been better to spend a few days with THE asperge king of Holland, namely the celebrated Hostellerie de Hamert.
The friendship goes back 30 years between Pieter Smits and Hugel, remembering the visit to de Hamert with Marc Heaberlin in the 80's as shown by the photo in the restaurant entrance...
Magriet had already peeled almost 1500 kg of asperges by the time of the visit and our longtime agents OR & Boelen (now over 60 years of collaboration with us) did organise here a tasting and masterclass for top clients of our wines as part of a series of events organised by Kees Klein Velderman at the celebrated Alliance restaurant... now under management of next generation Roger and his wife Monique
By the end of the events, the glass recycling bin was overflowing with empty bottles with the yellow label !
Time also to remind everyone in Holland of the launch our new website in Dutch...

is belangrijk voor ons
Dank u en tot ziens !


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In China, Hangzhou now rhymes with Hugel

A 3rd visit in just over a year to a city I have to confess I had never heard of just a couple of years ago...
The very last 4 days of this Asian marathon has simply been the most eye opening of the striving pace of changes in China's top hospitality sector.
A couple days weekend in Shanghai, staying at the gorgeous as ever Puli and then a high speed journey to the amazing scenic and striving city of Hangzhou, now just 40' by train from Shanghai vs 2 hours a couple of years ago !
Following last December's Shangri-La roadshow trade dinner that were attended by both Dutch GM friends of the local Four Seasons and Intercontinental hotels. The latest adition to the collection of China's finest hotel properties.
With the orchestration of Summergate's Hangzhou bureau chief Grace Ling, I was "shared" between equally gracious and generous GM hosts, Ruud van Dijk of Four Seasons Hangzhou Westlake, its amazing location and a must see Spa and the following day by the new city landmark, golden bowl spaceship Intercontinental Hangzhou with longtime Hugel supporter GM Rob Spiekerman who both treated the Hugel scion like China's latest Emperor !
Another sign of the booming hospitality sector is the opening of independant restaurants such as Yee Chino with 160 seats including some exquisite private rooms...
A selection of pictures of these intense events are to be found below, with descriptions on the upper part of each photo. Enjoy and book your flight !

Hugel | China 2011 | 640x640 | Plein écran | Wine Media Library


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Wine heaven in the Maldives at Soneva

Heaven does exist on earth and some of the Worlds' best wine are in the cellar waiting for you !
No need to look any further (if money is not the issue...) the amazing teams of Soneva Gili and Soneva Fushi are waiting for you to be pampered and visiting winemakers will accompany your gastronomic experience...

Hugel | Maldives Soneva | 640x640 | Plein écran | Wine Media Library


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Incredible India ! our wines are for you and your cuisine...

Nice press articles followed this visit in Sommelier India, Show Buzz, and in
The Hindu online, south India's N°1 daily as well as their Metro Plus paper issue

A huge THANK YOU to Ramiah Daniels General Manager and the team of The LaLiT Ashok


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Back to fantastic Vietnam, continiuing a frienship affair


Back to Vietnam for the second year in a row with longtime friend Thomas Duroux, CEO of Château Palmer and the team of importer Tankhoa and retail outlets Bacchus Corner to renew aquaintances to our respective wines through a series of perfectly orchestrated events in Hanoi, Nha Trang, HCM city (Saigon) and in solo in Phan Thiet. See last year's detailed report here

Great use was also made of our new E-brochure in Vietnamese so our wines can also speak to the local community who's interest in wines is gowing at a rapid pace, just like the whole country.

Below is a selection of pictures of these exciting days

Hugel | 2011_Vietnam | 640x640 | Wine Media Library


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Back to Singapore with more social wine net... working (hard)



It just gets better with age, just like friendship...

Journalist friend Jenny Tan and husband Charles Lim, this year helped our wine & Asian food gathering at Thion Bahru, just like she did last year (see report)

This year, extra friends joined the brunch, including Edwin Soon, author of the acclaimed book Pairing Wine with Asian Food, Singapore Airlines' Air sommeliers Gerard Ee and colleague Reggie, chocolate expert Dieter Speer of ADM cocoa and despite beeing now well into his 80's, Dr NK YONG whose celebration 80 a few years back remains forever an unforgettable ode to joy.

This year, your "vintner vlogger" came with adequate gear for this report, posted on Youtube... more to follow in the coming days, depending on Johan's promptness;-) Blog on ! 

... and by the way, you may want to accustom yourself with Singlish...



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Shangri-La roadshow part 3, Ningbo and Hangzhou

At the occasion of the launch of a two years' promotion of our Gentil by the glass at all the Shangri-La Hotel of Mainland China. Staff trainings, trade events and dinners in 10 cities... in 10 days ! Organised with the great support of Summergate, our greater China agents. Well worth having a new Chinese website for the occasion;-) Gentil Hugel, what else ?

Pictures of Hangzhou and Ningbo, the last two cities of this wine marathon from December 5 to 14, 2010

Hugel | SL part 3 | 640x640 | Wine Media Library


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Shangri-La roadshow part 2, Beijing charity event

At the occasion of the launch of a two years' promotion of our Gentil by the glass at all the Shangri-La Hotel of Mainland China. Staff trainings, trade events and dinners in 10 cities... in 10 days ! Organised with the great support of Summergate, our greater China agents. Well worth having a new Chinese website for the occasion;-) Gentil Hugel, what else ?

Pictures of the memorable Beijing series of events of this wine marathon from December 5 to 14, 2010

Hugel | SL part 2 | 640x640 | Wine Media Library


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Shangri-La 10 cities roadshow in China

At the occasion of the launch of a two years' promotion of our Gentil by the glass at all the Shangri-La Hotel of Mainland China. Staff trainings, trade events and dinners in 10 cities... in 10 days ! Organised with the great support of Summergate, our greater China agents. Well worth having a new Chinese website for the occasion;-) Gentil Hugel, what else ?

Pictures of the first 5 cities of this wine marathon from December 5 to 14, 2010

Hugel | SH_Roadshow | 640x640 | Wine Media Library


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Family reunion in Las Vegas


Back West for a couple of weeks in the US, a market that seems to be turning around after some 18 months where one could clearly feel the impact of the recession.

Starting in the West gave me a good opportunity to visit my son Jean Frédéric
who currently enjoys his few months as exchange student at the University of California in Irvine. Very lucky to have flown out of Munich and to have been on one of the last flights from Europe that was not cancelled due to the Icelandic volcano... "we asked them to send cash, not ash ;-)" was the latest local joke on this affair

Las Vegas was a obvious destination for a father and son weekend, especially since my own godson Julien Asseo just started a job in the kitchen of Las Vegas' most celebrated restaurant: Robuchon, which is the only restaurant in town to have been awarded *** in the Guide Michelin. Julien's father Stéphane, longtime friend, is the godfather of Jean Frédéric and owns the very successful l'Aventure Vineyards in Paso Robles.

"What goes to Vegas, stays in Vegas" so you may not hear all the details of our weekend but the yellow label is to be found amongst one arm bandits and l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is soon to feature Hugel Gentil by the glass. The veteran team of Vegas sends its regards to Diego who now manages their Tokyo operation...


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With our new dreamteam in Manila


It seems that for us, as for many vintners alike, the market in the Philippines was slightly off the radar of all the fast emerging Asian economies. As far as our wines were concerned, we had had no real presence in this market for well over a decade.

During the last edition of Vinexpo in Bordeaux, we had the pleasure of welcoming the visit of wine lover Romeo Sia who showed great interest in taking in his hands the destiny of our wines in his country. With great determination and efficiency, a first order was placed and shipped. Part of the new partnership agreement was a market visit to launch the wines.

Manila was therefore added to the already long list of countries on this tour. Staff training press lunch / interviews and visiting several Healthy Options stores that were until now the main activity of Romy and his dedicated team... Yet there is one project that has recently been on Romeo's mind: opening Wine Story in Manila's top shopping location. This state of the art space dedicated to excellence in and around wines will certainly put Manila on the global wine map. No efforts have been spared, from design, state of the art by the glass dispender, wine books and a tasting room that would rival those of long established London wine merchants !

Best of luck Romeo and all your enthusiastic and now fully trained dream team, you will at last be putting Manila on the wine map.    



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A journey to Vietnam with a Palmer escort


What better life can there be than blending business with friendship and pleasure ? In just a few days, Thomas Duroux, CEO of Château Palmer and the team of our Vietnamese agents Tankhoa have multiplied the exposure to our respective wines through a series of perfectly orchestrated events in Hanoi and HCM city (Saigon)

In just 3 days, we met in Hanoi with the staff of Bacchus Corner for a staff training session of the enthusiastic team supervised by Baldwin Jehanno. Thomas and I were greeted by the entire team of the Métropole Hanoi, first of the new series of the Sofitel Legend flagship brand. GM Kai Speth
can be proud of his F&B team, Carl Gagnon, Charles Demange and their colleagues. The gala dinner was not only outstanding but also full of surprises, a bathtub used to chill down the wines had to be tested just prior to the dinner for photographic purposes and also to put us all in good spirit... The joint Palmer - Hugel dinner ended-up in good spirit (our 45° Framboise was served) and some of the local attendants even started a karaoke... in pure Vietnamese tradition ;-)

Next day was spent in Saigon, the economical capital of Vietnam. In the headquarter city of our importer Tankhoa, Dongkoi and ever efficient (and charming) assistant Nhu greeted us with the team of their retail outlet Bacchus Corner that has experienced a serious facelift since the last visit. The day's gala dinner was at centrally located Caravelle Hotel with guest chef Jean Baptiste Natali at the piano. Jean Baptiste runs l'hostellerie La Montagne, the Michelin starred restaurant next to the Mémorial Charles de Gaulle in Colombey les deux églises. The sold out event saw 65 happy gusts enjoying the carefully decanted wines of Château Palmer, including the 1990 vintage and ending-up with our Gewurztraminer SGN 2005, all specially airfreighted for the event. Good friend and ambassador for Hugel wines Eric Simard attended the dinner with his wife Nadège that took the photo of the "dream team" on
THE yellow Lambretta whose developing story has been featured on our Blog since 2007 and updated for the 3rd time...

Following Thomas Duroux's departure some more relaxing work took place, a most memorable boatride on the Saigon river organised by Hugel client Madlen Ernest that runs with her father Bonsai river cruise and uses Gentil on board their two ships. Some genuine  
local food after all the French wining & dining. Chef Jean Baptiste Natali giving a finishing touch to the seafood soup with a splash of our Riesling. We still enjoyed the rest of the bottle even so we had to use teacups to drink the wine... The boatride with Dongkoi and Nhu and the scooter ride thereafter will leave ever lasting memories of a visit to a country in rapid evolution but where the inhabitants show a sense of hospitality rarely seen elsewhere in Asia.

Never been to Vietnam ? Call your travel agent right now ! Eric Simard's Victoria hotels are saving a room for you !


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A dinner with friends at Melina and NK Yong


A visit to Singapore would not be complete without seeing longtime friends Melina and NK Yong. The memories are still vivid of NK's celebration 80...

This time Hugel wines were partnered with Château Palmer with its CEO and close friend Thomas Duroux  who had sent for the occasion some very special wines, of which his Historic Blend (as in the past, Clarets were "Hermitagés" by the adition of some Northern Rhône fleshy syrah). The menu was, as ever, simply spectacular.

No fewer that 35 friends were gathered for the occasion at Melina and NK's home, with guests spreaded around two impressive tables, the senior members at the head table and, waiting patiently for their "upgrade" one day, the junior table... Guest list included Shangri-La's new Hotel Manager
Thomas Schmitt-Glaeser. NK's cellar, part of it only lying in Singapore includes a rare bottle of 
1865 Palmer which is not even found at the châteaux cellar...

My very first experience dining at at Melina and NK's home goes back almost 20 years with the very missed Gérard Jaboulet. He had "warned" me that the best meal he had ever had in Singapore came out of Melina's kitchen. This still remains true to me until today. Its most gracious and generous host also remains a very special person with a huge heart called NK.
Thank you both for your continued friendship.


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In Taipei there is 101 and Jessie !


Taipei may not be the most amazing Asian city in terms of scenery even so Taipei 101 is the architectual pride of the city but its charm is elsewhere. Because of its history and the fact that in 1949 many nationalists joined the island from the Mainland, it offers one of the most diverse melting pot in all of China.

In the wine trade like in many business sectors the drive is in the hands of dynamic female entrepreneurs. Jessie Fang is one them and one of a kind, respected and connected like very few women in this elsewhere male dominated sector. Leading Brands is also a leader in educating Taiwanese to fine wines and certainly fully committed to ours, in a market still heavily influenced by the Gambei culture (thanks Mark for your article)

On the first evening of my arrival, Jessie gave me a memorable tour of the gastronomic street scene of Taipei, having previously double decanted a rare bottle of Argentinian icon wine Nicolas of Catena Zapata enjoyed with adequate glassware between the stalls, with a surprising "menu degustation" of duck from neck to nozzle. Even so wine consumption is growing rapidly here as elsewhere in Asia, wine is not yet in the scope of street eaters as we could notice from people passing by...

On the agenda of this 3 days visit, a lunch at dim sum specialist Din Tai Fung that is one of Taiwan's eating institution, dumplings are all prepared in front of the guests and ordered by ticking a form exclusively available in Chinese, the assistance of a local is therefore highly recommended... but juicy pork dumplings remain my absolute favourite ! In the afternoon, a trade tasting for wholesalers and wine lovers with a presentation in Traditionnal Chinese updated in record time by Sammy, Jessie's competant and dynamic assistant (pictured above right) followed by a dinner with some close GM friends.

On the last day, some visits of retail shops with Vincent, some within department stores, including Dean & Deluca and the familiar Costco with its popular eating corner whose menu includes a local version of pizza with Peking duck ! Jessie and her entire team does a fantastic job for the distribution of our wines in a market where white wines account for just 10% of the total wine sales.

The evening dinner was no less memorable, with a traditionnal Chinese new year banquet dinner menu including a succulent local version of pork shank with the pairing in a local traditionnal restaurant of our wines for a group of friendly and enthusiast members of the press. Our white wines did make us all happy !

Mission accomplished Jessie, thanks to you and all your great team !


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Enjoying Singlish and hawker center lifestyle


See the great article by Jenny in Singapore's Sunday Times the following weekend: Alsace meets Asia and also a nice report on Daniel Chia's blog

The city state of Singapore is unique in many respects. From overseas some may just know a sanitized opulent city which forbids the chewing of gums...

Singapore offers much more including some hidden treasures very much enjoyed by the locals. One of Singapore's amazing hospitality is also found in its multi cultural food scene right next to some of the best in the hospitality business, from airline to some of the World's finest hotels. One facet not to be missed is what they call Hawker Centers. Just had one of the best (and most charming) guide, local and fast growing local wine authority Jenny Tan (pictured above with friend Daniel Chia)

Jenny Tan is an independent wine writer, who contributes to the weekly wine review column for The Straits Times, the national newspaper. Born and bred in Singapore, she also works on the wine pages for several magazines in the region, such as The Edge, Appetite and Silverkris. Her next project: a wine blog catered for the growing Asian market. She is amongst the who's who of some the World's finest wine writers for Wine Business International

Some of these open air eateries are known and visited by tourists, but some are well kept secrets and need some local guidance such as Tiong Bahru market. Popular stalls include the pig's organ soup, and the roast meats but as we were there for brunch we settled for chwee kueh, raw fish salad and congee amongst others. Very hard to make a choice with such a wide variety od specialyies so patience is usually rewarded, the longer queues are an excellent indication... No luxury there, the tables are cleared in efficient style but what an explosion of TASTE ! No wine yet on offer (other than BYO) but in Singapore, things do change quickly and wine is fast becoming part of the local way of life.

One last tip, from Jenny herself, in preparation for your visit, you may like to acustom yourself with Singlish... I am willing to take courses ;-) Merci Jenny ! 


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Back to Belgrade Wine Salon


I have to confess, I have fallen in love with Belgrade and needed little convincing making again this year the journey to Belgrade Wine Salon.  Very nice article on the Sunday in the national newspaper BLIC "Radujem se svakom dolasku u Beograd"

This impressive event is organised by Slavomir Cirovic, the multi task head of IN VINO that also produce WINE ROUTE, a TV program on wine and the magazine PUT VINA that both featured our wines last year have certainly put Hugel on the Serbian map.

This year, our wines are well in place in the market with the dynamic, competent and friendly team of Alex and Zoran of MV Wines, with their shops VINODOM

A nice adition to their portfolio this year are the wines of PFV friend Perrin et Fils. May their wines enjoy the same success as ours in this emergeing buy dynamic market.

See here last year's Blog report and an extract below of  the WINE ROUTE TV program


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A moving endorsement by Serena Sutcliffe M.W.

Serena Sutcliffe M.W. head of Sotheby's Wine Department was the Master of Ceremony
at the Primum Familiae Vini event at the Hong Kong Island Shangri-La black tie even.

Serena made a very moving introduction to Etienne Hugel
and tribute to uncle Johnny.



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Primum Familiae Vini events at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

A first report of photo compilations of the gala dinners posted on Youtube

The Hong Kong part of the Wine event of the Year with Island Shangri-La

And the Japanese gala dinner with the Tokyo Shangri-La


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A very special day at Brasserie GENTIL in... Tokyo


A few years ago we had the pleasure of welcoming Tomita-san on a tour of our vineyards together with top sommeliers, organised by our Japanese agents Jeroboam. Just over a year ago we received our Japanese friend with his wife for a private visit to us where the couple was looked after by my small family. It seems this visit made quite an impression on Tomita-san that decided to create his brasserie that he decided to name Brasserie GENTIL.

As this is a premiere, I has offered to pay a visit to Tomita-san's newly opened establishment. He just took advantage of my brief Tokyo stay to organise a typical Alsace lunch for some of his customers...

Needless to say that GENTIL was served with some tarte flambée and with the excellent choucroute made from local cabbage. A very rare Magnum of our Pinot Noir Les Neveux 2003 was served for the occasion, much to the delight of the happy guests.

Many more new friends were made on that occasion, hoping they will visit Alsace one day and make new friends themselves... and spread the word.



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PFV events with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts from 16 to 21 November 2009


From 16 to 21 November 2009, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, will host a series of exclusive events together with Primum Familiae Vini.

Gala dinners will take place
- at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong (16 November 2009)
- at Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo (18 November 2009)
- and at Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai (20 November 2009).

Trade and press events (by invitation only) will also be taking place at all above venues.
At gala dinners, a member of each family will present the family estate and one of its flagship wines that are hard to acquire in the marketplace, paired with specially designed menus.

In each city, the gala dinners will be moderated by longtime PFV friend Serena Sutcliffe M.W. head of Sotheby's Wine Department.

Guests will have the opportunity to celebrate their passion for fine food and wine through intimate and personal conversation with 11 families who are the historic owners of some of the world's very greatest vineyards.

The PFV members in attendance will be Alessia Antinori (Marchesi Antinori), Baroness Philippine de Rothschild (Château Mouton Rothschild), Laurent Drouhin (Maison Joseph Drouhin), Egon Müller (Egon Müller Scharzhof), Etienne Hugel (Hugel et Fils), Hubert de Billy (Champagne Pol Roger), Marc Perrin and Pierre Perrin (Perrin et Fils), Paul Symington (Graham's, Warre's and Dow's Port), Juan-Maria Torres (Torres), Sebastiano Rosa (Tenuta San Guido) and Pablo Alvarez (Vega Sicilia).

A Primum Familiae Vini collection case, containing one bottle of each member's flagship wine, will be auctioned under the hammer of Serena Sutcliffe M.W. at the gala dinners for the benefit of a local charity.

Reservations have been accepted since 1 September 2009. Dinner are sold out, perhaps a few last seats left for Tokyo...
- Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo (18 November 2009) slty@shangri-la.com or by telephone at (81 3) 6739 7888

See the Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong e-flyer here
See the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo e-flyer here
See the Pudong Shangri-La e-flyer here

Media access to Press kits here
P.F.V. Media Library access (bottom left of the menu)
username: PFV
password: SL

For media or trade enquiries, please contact info@pfv.org


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A memorable Grand Cru charity event in Toronto


This year marked the 5th anniversary of Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival in Toronto. In its first four years, Grand Cru has raised over $5.5 million for research at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital.

In aditions to the wining and dining, tasting and auction, 2009 also marked the 50th anniversary of Todd Halpern, co-chair of the event and long time friend and agent. As in the past, the presence of vintners and celebrity chefs was amazing, the hosting donors greeted us at their homes with incredible generosity in company of the scientists that will make best use of the money raised to our mutual benefit.

See how well the funds will be used by the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine on this Youtube video

The party that followed was something else: elephants, baby lion and a zoo of happy vintners dressed-up for the occasion. See a selection of photos of the events here

Congratulation to Todd, Colin and all the team of Halpern Enterprises.


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Hugel bottle signing at Whole Foods


On a recent visit to Chicago, the largest and best located Whole Foods store gave us a chance to make new friends to our wines.

All the team of the Lincoln Park store gave our wines an excellent stage to sample our wines together will long time Frederick Wildman friend
Dave Bertoli.


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Hugel Wine Experience at BVLGARI Bali


One of those rare moments where business blends into sheer pleasure and a rare feeling of having reached perfection... The occasion came at the end of an extensive 3 weeks Asian market visits before a few days vacations with my wife Anne Christine. A few days in Bali, almost exactly 20 years after our first visit together to this paradise on earth.

As if life was not good enough, on the only day of customer visits on the island, our local importer Putu Murtika had the good idea to pay a quick visit together to probably the most amazing Bali resort, the famous BVLGARI Bali.

Greeted in style in an amazing surrounding by Director of F&B Radu Cernia and executive chef Andrew Skinner. As some specially sent wines were still available for the course of my visit, an exclusive dinner was put in place with the blessing of the GM and long time Hugel friend Robert Lagerwey.

In just a week, a most amazing menu was created, a flyer produced with a selection of Asian dishes created to match our wines like never before. Also an uncompromising attention to details on the presentation of the dishes up to the marking of the different glasses. The select guests (by invitation only) had a chance to enjoy some of our wines that were available for the first time in Indonesia.

If perfection does not exist, it may well have found its closest expression, where all comes so harmoniously together. Planning a visit to Bali ? You may want to make your own opinion of the BVLGARI Bali   


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Hugel wine served at NATO summit in Strasbourg


If there was one good news about the benefit for Alsace of the recent NATO summit in Strasbourg, it is that Americans will at last know that Strasbourg is in... France. We were of course delighted when we heard that one of our wines, our Pinot Gris Tradition 2005 had been chosen for the Friday night gala dinner prepared by Strasbourg's most celebrated chef Emile Jung of Crocodile restaurant

As husbands and wives did not dine at the same table that night nor did they have the same beverage selection (oh... la la !) until the following day we were not sure if our wine had been served to Barack and Nicolas or at Michelle and Carla's party. Knowing the popularity and personality of the first ladies, we are pleased to report that our wine was enjoyed at Michelle and Carla's dinner and from what we heard through the grapevine, they had lots of fun ;-) Thank you Emile for your nice words in the menu you sent us. Perhaps our French President should take lessons on that from his Italian born wife !

Having heard the news on the occasion of a visit to Japan, walking in front of a local hotel doing a promotion for US beef with the poster of President Obama, I could not resist taking this picture... Yes, we can ! 



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On Winecast and Twitter Taste LIVE with Binendswine.com


Delighted to report the great buzz created by the live tasting of our wines to took place on August 21st from 7 to 9 PM (EST) on binendswine.com

See a summary of posts here and a selection of pictures from people tasting live with us here. Some participants even put together a whole gastro dinner with the wines, great report on The Wine Conversation and Spittoons.biz blog. Thanks to all.

This live event over the net was announced on Winecast.net a leader in wine podcasting with an interview of Etienne Hugel by host Tim Elliott, a longtime wine lover.

Podcasting is amongst new opportunities that Internet offers to share information with passionate wine enthusiasts. Another innovative webtool will be used to this event: Twitter Social networking and microblogging service utilising instant messaging, SMS or a web interface.

A selection of our wines were offered at favourable prices to most US shipping destinations by binendswine.com but our wines are available in most countries around the World. Feel free to contact our importers for stockists.

Users outside North America, were able to check the local time of this event. Participants from Spain, the UK, France, Germany, Poland, Puerto Rico, China, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Chile, and yes twitterheads from all over the U.S also joined in the fun. 

Blog on !


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Hugel at l'Eté du Vin, Nashville Wine Auction 2008


For a few days the capital of country music became the capital of wine in the country with an amazing celebration of fines wines and foods, joy, friendship and generosity for a charitable cause, the fight against cancer.

Hugel together with Champagne Pol Roger, Louis Jadot Burgundy and Bordeaux's Château Palmer were the guests of honour of l'Ete du Vin, America’s oldest charity wine auction.

Part of the 3 days events was a tutored tasting with moderator Robin Kelly O'Connor, a black tie gala dinner and an auction where a magnum of our Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles 1989 S raised a record 4200 $. These days also saw a series of lunches and dinners hosted by generous donours in their gorgeous home(s) with wines that went well beyond vintages and wines that we had donated.

Above all, Ete du Vin is a celebration of what fine wines is all about, sharing good moments with friends, old or new that included Patrice Noyelle of Champagne Pol Roger, with wife Benedicte whose family owns Clos de Tart, Jacques Lardière of Louis Jadot and Thomas Duroux of Château Palmer, a long time personnal friend. 

New friends and local patrons, with most amazing cellars and generosity included Tom Black and Keith Pitts that hosted us in their amazing well cellared homes... current and future ;-)

A huge thank you to the organizers, especially Torrey Stella Barnhill, Events Director, executive director Michael Haney and wine director Collin Husbands. Their professionalism was as precious as their kindness. Last but not least American Airlines that went well beyond their duties to fly us making all possible arrangements... and more !

How could one spend some time in Nashville without a tour of music related landmarks and bars.
PFV friend Patrice Noyelle of Champagne Pol Roger also a partner in our US importer Frederick Wildman even found a soundtrack whose title is Drinking Champagne, feeling no pain... Winston Churchill could not have said it any better !

You can view here a selection of pictures of the event


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Hugel Asian Roadshow in Sweden


The chopstick's favourite wines have just made their roadshow in Sweden under the masterful organisation of our agents HJO Grosshandel. See the GASTRO review in Swedish on the Helsingborg part of the trip. More may follow shortly...

Soooooooo great to see at this occasion the many friends of our wines in a country that has always greeted our wines with great enthusiasm.


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The Hugel chopstick holders


What better launch could there be for a new wine related marketing initiative than Vinexpo ? If success is measured by the number of visitors on one's stand and by the buzz generated we cannot be too far from success as proved above on the short video clip featured on graperadio.com

You will also find here a selection of some of the most memorable moments on our dedicated photo gallery 

At a daily lunchtime Asian buffet on our stand we presented our new  chopstick holder, an original idea created with the help of our supplier of DIAM. The idea came a few months earlier during an informal Chinese lunch in Taiwan in the company of the owner and staff of our new local importer. In the course of lunch Jessie Fang of prominent importer Leading Brands took one of our cork to support her chopsticks on the table. The idea was born and executed with enthusiasm and efficiency by Jessie and her team.

In order to support this innovative initiative, we have asked our local communication agency to design a supporting document which, with our importers help, is now available in high definition PDF in A5 formats in the following languages: English, French, simplified Chinese , Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Cantonese (Hong Kong)Japanese, Vietnamese, German, Italian  and Dutch. The wide variety of languages now available is a demonstration of the warm reception by most of our importer.

The chopstick holders will start to be available from the end of August on in the following language versions: English/French, English/Chinese and English/Japanese. They will be presented in elegant individual yellow boxes. Each cork will carry the bilingual message "The Chopsticks' favourite wines". We have every hope that this will help the further distribution of our wines in many Asian restaurants, in Asia and elsewhere.

This page will be open to receive the feedback from our importers and clients or just consumers. Blog on !



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Let our wines take you on a journey to Asia


It is a fact, " world food " and " fusion cuisine " become more and more part of our eating habits and seduce more and more gastronomes the world over. For too long, Asian cuisine was associated with the drinking of jasmine tea or beer and has had little success attracting fine wines consumers. Things are changing at a very rapid pace.
If many food critics mention Alsace wines amongst the best to match with oriental cuisine, we put forward to you the opinion of some of the most knowledgeable and unbiased of them : Dr N.K. YONG and his wife Melina . Their experience and authority go beyond their native Singapore and even Asia. Dr N.K. YONG is for instance the former world-wide president of the influential and respected
International Wine & Food Society ... and by the way, a great supporter of our wines.
Yes, our wines are the chopsticks' favourites !

More "Let our wines take you on a journey to Asia" »


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"perfect for Asian food" according to shanghaidaily.com


Could there be any better endorsement than this recommendation that was just published on shanghaidaily.com ?

"With wine, most diners tend to go with regular reds, enjoying the drink without bothering too much about the clash of styles. True, some rouges can be quite enjoyable with the considerably lighter Cantonese dishes, but most will agree, however, that a vintage bordeaux is not necessarily the best match for lamb vindaloo.

The best bet is actually an often overlooked one. White wines from the Alsace region of northeastern France are dry, light and fruity - perfect for Asian food.

Instead of ordering a bottle of red with your next Asian meal, why not try matching it with something that goes well with the style of food on the table. Any doubters will be bound to eat their words."

Read the full story here


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The chopsticks' favourite wines !

There are fewer and fewer economists, even in the western world that put into question that the center of gravity of the world's economy is moving towards Asia, and in particular around China.

Similar things can be said when it comes to the dynamism of the hospitality industry. No city has a greater number of fine hotels opening up than Shanghai or Beijing. They act as magnets for some of the world's finest hotel groups and celebrity chefs.

Having always preached the perfect mariage between our wines and Asian cuisine(s), the consumers are now gradually starting to fully enjoy that ideal combination. The message is now also fuelled by our outstanding local importers that are true ambassadors to our wines.

A rencent visit to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan has opened a few new eyes. Our local importers are sharing our enthusiasm and no longer hesitate to organise Hugel wine events centered on Asian or fusion cuisine such as at the celebrated Whampoa Club on Shanghai's Bund.

See an extensive photo gallery of these fascinating visits by clicking here


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Amazing Grand Cru charity wine event in Toronto

GC_2006.JPG Just another amazing Grand Cru event put together by Todd & Colin Halpern and their team for their main clients, friends and suppliers. Delighted to be one of them.

You can see the photo gallery of these memorable days here

The list of wines opened that one night (due to the generosity of our hosts) follows...
WARNING: some wines listed can be offending to those that were not part of this experience !

Thanks also to Eddy and his Blackberry for allowing us to keep track of all the wines tasted

Below are the supper wines...
Champagne Gosset, 2000 Olivier Leflaive Montrachet, 1999 Marc Colin Montrachet, 2000 Drc Montrachet, 1982 Bon Pasteur, 1997 Corton Charlemagne Remoissenet, Mag 1982 Latour A Pomerol, 1978 Hermitage La Chapelle, 1996 Harlan Estate, 1985 Groth, 1974 Marthas Heitz, 1990 Rayas mag, 1989 Rayas, 1961 Lynch bages, 1975 La Mission HB, 1957 Richebourg Remoissenet, 1959 Clos Vougeot Remoissenet, 1978 Richebourg Remoissenet, 1962 La romanee Leroy, 1982 Mouton in Magnum, 1990 Beausejour, 1959 Latour, 1961 Latour, 1959 Latour Haut Brion, 1961 La Mission HB, 1959 La Mission HB, 1989 HB mag, 1982 Lafleur mag, 1945 Gruaud Larose mag, 1990 Richebourg Drc, 1997 Gewurztraminer SGN Hugel, 1986 SGN ZH Heimbourg Gewurztraminer !!!

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