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.
Here is the update with all latest vintages.
You can download the full vintage chart in PDF format with all vintages from 1959 to 2013.
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 !
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 !
After almost ten years of intensive internal research for alternative methods of closure, we have decided to use "DIAM" corks of the brand Diam-corks starting with an important part of our Classic range of the 2006 vintage. From vintage 2009 on, all of our production will be using this closure. This decision comes after the successful test we carried out with this closure on 375ml size bottles in the year 2004 and on a fraction of wines of the 2005 vintage. From vintage 2008 on, we started using DIAM in its latest presentation.
We are pleased to announce the recent publication of a book that is particularly important for the Alsace wine region, written by our friend Serge Dubs, in association with the journalist Denis Ritzenthaler.
After almost three years of serious research, Serge has successfully achieved his goal, the first in-depth handbook of the Grand Cru wines of Alsace. Without indulgence, it displays all the characteristic rigour, integrity and passion of one of the greatest connoisseurs and… supporters of Alsace wines. This work of reference will make its mark on our region and some of its comments will undoubtedly revive the dormant debate about Grand Cru wines, for example the following paragraph :
The house of Hugel in Riquewihr is certainly one of the most representative of Alsace negociants. It owns a large part of the Grand Cru Schoenenbourg and Sporen slopes. Renowned for its high quality wines, the house of Hugel has always advocated the best terroir. Its skill is exemplary and its quality image is renowned worldwide. Paradoxically, the « Hugels » do not sell their Grand Cru wines with the appellation AOC Alsace Grand Cru. Yet their Rieslings are among the finest grown on the Schoenenbourg. The house of Hugel has chosen a policy of promoting its brand because it believes the reputation of the name « Hugel » is superior to that of Grand Cru. This is their way of controlling the quality of the wines from its Grand Cru vineyards. Thus exceptional wines can be found under the simple appellation of AOC Alsace.
To learn more on the subject, discover our interactive "Hugel Earth" vineyard map
Wedding menu of Lina and Jean Hugel in 1921 where Gentil was served