The wines of the Haut-Rhin from Niedermorschwihr to Rohrschwihr
By Sue Style
This Guide was last updated on 14 March 2011
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Address: 3 Rue de la Première Armée,
Tel: 03 89 47 92 15 / 03 89 49 00 10
Geo-coordinates: Latitude: 48:9:56N (48.16558) Longitude: 7:17:49E (7.29684)
Plan ahead for a visit chez Hugel – with luck you may find that the globetrotting, blogging Etienne Hugel is in town and you’ll have a tasting to remember. There are three ranges of wine: ‘Classic’, generic wines from grapes grown locally under long-term contract; ‘Tradition’, some grapes bought in and only the four ‘noble’ varieties (Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat); and top-of-the-range ‘Jubilee’, wines from the 25ha of vines owned by Hugel all around Riquewihr. These include the Schoenenbourg Grand Cru vineyard that rises up straight from the village, though you won’t find the vineyard identified by name, since the Hugels – along with the Beyers and Trimbachs - have reservations about the credibility of the Grand Cru designation. Gentil, a fruity-but-dry blend of Riesling, Gewurz, Pinot Gris with a hint of Muscat and Sylvaner from the Classic range, makes a good entry point and is Hugel’s best-selling wine, accounting for 30% of their total volume. Depending on your focus and preferred grape varieties, work your way up through the range, finishing with Vendanges Tardives (“this one presses the foie gras button – I can hear the toaster popping up the brioche!” says Etienne of the luscious Pinot Gris VT 01) and Sélection de Grains Nobles (“Christmas pudding in a glass”). Look out for too for the oak-aged Pinot Noir Les Neveux, produced in the best years only from low-yielding vines in the Pflostig vineyard planted in 1966 and purchased by Hugel in 1985.
Useful information: Tasting available every day from Easter to Christmas 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-18.00 (limited to 10 people at one time). Outside this period, make an appointment. Cellar tours for groups up to 15 available by appointment. English spoken.
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