|The Hugel Law
These late-harvest wines, traditional products in the Rhine valley, had become almost completely forgotten in Alsace. Yet certain wines from 1865 to 1921 remain firmly in the collective memory of several generations, while 1934s and 1945s still exist to prove the ageing potential of these late-harvest wines made from over-ripe grapes affected by noble rot. It was certainly tempting to want to reproduce these prestigious wines. However, in order to be certain of the result, it was first necessary to define the conditions of production by means of a law within the framework of AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) regulations.
A law is always necessary, to protect the winegrowers from themselves and in order to guarantee the quality of the wines.
The following outlines the careful thought that led to the drafting of this law in 1977 and, after a long and difficult struggle, to its publication on 1 st March 1984.
In fact, if everyone was honest, there would be no need for any laws at all, but sometimes it is necessary to force people for their own good.
For any wine law to function correctly, it must :
Also, it was important for these wines to be the result of a motivated choice, not just good luck. The minimum natural sugar levels in the juice that were fixed are the highest in any French AOC legislation, and they were even increased from the 2001 vintage onwards :
Other requirements :
All these measures are the guarantee that there can neither be fraud nor error of vinification.
Alsace winegrowers know that only what is serious will be recognised in the long term.
This determined approach to quality production is the sign of a new state of mind in Alsace. A new spirit of pride and emulation motivates our winegrowers.
In addition, the cost of undertaking these checks is paid for by the winegrowers themselves ! It is amazing, we are paying to be inspected !
We are cited as an example, and even copied in other French wine regions.
Taste these noble products, you will be surprised and charmed.
The "HUGEL" family is proud that its dream has come true.
Winegrower in Riquewihr.