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Producer profile: Hugel

The 13th generation has just started working at this famous Alsace producer, notable for setting the rules for (and later boycotting) the region’s grand crus. Margaret Rand meets a few of the family.

Hugel: a timeline

1639 Hans Ulrich Hugel, who settled in Riquewihr during the Thirty Years’ War, is made freeman of the city

1672 Hans Ulrich’s son builds a house in Rue des Cordiers; the shield he carved over the door still appears on Hugel labels Hugel label

1802 Earliest existing records of Hugel owning land in Sporen and Schoenenbourg. Earlier records were destroyed during wars

1865 & 1876 The last Hugel to be a cooper as well as a grower builds, and dates, casks that are still in use today

1871 Alsace annexed by Germany after the Franco-Prussian War

1902 Frédéric Emile Hugel buys the buildings in Riquewihr where the company is still based

1911 Hugel starts bottling its own wines

Le Petit Journal1918 Alsace is returned to France under the Treaty of Versailles

1940 Alsace is occuped by Germany

1945 Alsace is returned to France

1948 Jean Hugel’s son Johnny (right, with mother Mimi and brother André) joins the company. Hugel begins working with other growers

1980 Hugel is the first company in Alsace to introduce temperaturecontrolled fermentation

Early 1980s Jean, as president of the Alsace Grand Cru delimitation committee, was charged with drawing the boundaries of the new grands crus. INAO also asked him to draw up rules for VT and SGN wines

1982 Marc starts to take over as winemaker

1983 Etienne starts to take over as head of sales

1984 VT and SGN regulations come into force

1989 The Jubilee range is launched at Hugel’s 350th anniversary partyHugel Jubilee Riesling

1992 The decree governing Grands Crus Sporen (above) and Schoenenbourg come into force; Hugel decides not to use the designation

1994 Jean Philippe takes over as CEO

2009 Organic viticulture starts in Schoelhammer. Now, most Hugel vineyards are farmed organically

2011 Jean Frédéric, (above left with Etienne) joins the company, initially running the tasting room

2014 Marc André joins the company

2015 Schoelhammer is launched

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