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Page 2 of the interview with

Etienne Hugel

Would you please introduce to us your terroir, Riquewihr. It is one of best in the Alsace region.

Riquewihr is one of the most well-known terroirs in Alsace since middle-age.
We have two exceptional vintages (grand cru terroir):

- Schoenenbourg: a chalky-marl terroir, looking over Riquewihr village. It is our vineyard of predilection for great Riesling.

- Sporen: a very clayey soil, very heavy, that suits best Gewurz.

We also have Rosenbourg. A terroir that is not a Grand Cru. It is more chalky. A good one for Pinot noir and gris grapes.

Alsace has specific soil for each grape. In Riquewhir we are lucky to have 3 specific terroirs for the 3 major grapes of the region (Riesling, Gewurz, Pinot).

We use to say that Hugel wines respect their terroirs with class. How do you achieve that?

Our philosophy is that the wine is in the grape. We never use fertilizer. We let vines live by themselves, with small yield, harvesting by hand.

All the wine quality come from what we do with the vine.
Our yield is one third lower than the average alsatian yield. It is true that the region is knows for its cozy yields, maybe a little bit too high.

Are you more Riesling or Gewurztraminer at Hugel?

Worldwide, we are better known for our Gewurz. But we think that our greatest wines are Riesling.

Between the two, honestly, it is like choosing between my two children, it is impossible. The wines are different. The way you taste them is different.

With fish, shellfish or lobster, I pick a Riesling.

On the other hand, Gewurz is a wine which offers fantastic harmony with asiatic food. In my opinion Gewurz is really what makes Alsace unique. It is the only reference in the world for Gewurz.

What is the most noble between the two?

Riesling in the absolute is the noblest.
Michel Bettane - famous wine writer - says that Riesling is the greatest white grape in the world.

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Etienne Hugel

Go back to the beginning of the interview with Etienne Hugel













Gewurztraminer and
Asiatic food

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