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Page 4 of the interview with

Etienne Hugel

How long would you advise to keep a bottle in a cellar?

Each bottle is a particular case. It is impossible to generalize. Some wines gain more to age, others don't. Riesling and Pinot Gris are two grapes that can age. Gewurz also but to a lesser extent.

That also depends on the soil. Our clayey-chalky soil makes it possible that wine can age with a formidable aptitude. That also depends on the year. The more a year is rich, the more we have maturation, and the more the wine will have aptitude for ageing.

A great Riesling from Vendange Tardive (late harvest) can improve during 20 years and age for 50 years. Our greatest white wines have the same aptitude to age as red wines from Bordeaux.

Is it possible to visit Hugel?

Sure, visitors are welcome. We have on the web site a section explaining how you can visit us (
We are right in the centre of Riquewhir, one of the most beautiful villages in France, attracting 2 million visitors per year.

For small groups, from 4 to 6 persons, visits and tasting do not need an appointment. You just show up at the winery.

But for larger groups, up to 12 persons, you have to take an appointment with us. You need to show us that you are interested in wine.

Visits are free. The full range of our wines is available for tasting, in Riedel glasses.

Is Hugel well-known in the US ? What are the wines Americans enjoy the most?

Our number one market, even before France, is the US market.

Our best seller is Gentil, at $10 the bottle.

Then, we sell in the USA mostly:
- Gewurz
- Pinot Blanc
- Riesling

Alsace still has an identity problem in the USA, because of the shape of the bottle as consumers mix it up with German wine. In top of that, grapes we use in Alsace lead to confusion. They assume that Riesling is a wine with residual sugar but our Riesling has nothing to do with the german Riesling for instance.

There is a huge education need. it is a fascinating market because we have some unique wines that are not produced in the US. We feel there is a desire to taste a different white wine than only Chardonnay.

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Etienne Hugel

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