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Saturday 13 November 2021

Celebrating 13 generations of wine history


The Hugel family are legends of the global wine industry.

Thirteen generations of Hugels have been making wines from impossibly picturesque Alsace vimeyards since 1639 and are based in the beautiful village of Riquewihr.

Their rieslings, gewurztraminers, pinot blancs and late harvest wines are reference points for winemakers around the world.

Over the past decade the family has celebrated its near 400 years of wine production with Hugel Day - held annually on November 13.

First celebrated in the United States in 2009, the Hugel Day event is marked by tastings in cities including New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and many others - but not in Hobart, Tasmania, where I happen to live. 

I pointed this to Jean-Frederic Hugel, who kindly sent me a few bottles this week, pointing out: "Hugel Day is everywhere there is a bottle of Hugel to open."

So I am having a one-man Hugel Day celebration to honour an important force in the Alsace wine industry. 

Hugel & Fils produces high-end wines from its own vineyards, and also operates a negociant business, which sources additional grapes under long-term contract from various growers. 

Hugel is hugely export-oriented, with almost 80% of the wines being consumed outside France. In Australia they are imported by Negociants. 

In the second half of the 20th century, Jean Hugel was an industry legend who I was fortunate enough to meet. He was the father and gradfather of the current Hugel custodians. 

This year's Hugel Day slogan is “Spice up your life” - a nod to the rich aromas and the famous matchings of Alsace wines with spicy cuisines around the world. 

Visit or look out for #HugelDay2021 on social media 

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