is one of the most famous wine maker in Alsace. It is also
one of the oldest and one of the most influential. In one
word a good opportunity to meet Etienne Hugel and to share
a little bit of the family's success.
is a family business. You are the 12th generation in charge.
How have you managed to reach such an achievement?
that during 8 or 9 generations it was purely luck. But for
2 or 3 generations, there is a strong desire to fight in order
to keep Hugel winery within the family.
part of two clubs wich endeavour to perpetuate family traditions
is an association of bicentenarian family companies, not only
in the wine business. There is Beretta, famous guns manufactuer,
or Mellerio jeweller.
for Primum Familiae Vini (leading wine families). The members
of Primum Familiae Vini aim to promote the values of family-owned
really focused on this objective. It is our number one mission
at Hugel to transmit to the future generation in order to
perpetuate our family tradition.
to know that is more and more difficult to achieve. The tax
pressure is huge. Especially in the wine business because
the vineyard's price keeps on rising.
uncle uses to say: our company worths a lot of money but not
in cash. Our challenge is not to waste it now. We need to
have a long-term vision. We have no chance without this vision.
Jean Hugel has now more than 80 years old, is he still active?
he retired after the 97 vintage. But his nephews haven't noticed
that ! My father and my uncle are available anytime we are
in need but they are not interfering the management. They
keep themselves up to date, they read fax. Actually, they
are maybe a little bit frustrated because they don't have
access to email.
to you distribute the work charge between Hugel family members?
three. Jean Philippe (Hugel of course) studied at Essec -
a famous management school in France - and is managing the
company. My brother, Marc, is responsible of the production
(vinegrowing and winemaking). And myself, Etienne, I am in
charge of sales and communication.
of roles is done more naturally than anything. When we joined
in 1980 we began a slow process of training. We alternate
positions so that we know all the aspects of the business.
Then according to affinities and skills of each one of us,
we find what suit us best.It is significant that each one
knows well enough the different positions.
father used to say: the day when lazy and inefficient members
of our family will not be able to find a job elsewhere than
in the company, we will have to sell ! We had to prove our
skills, motivation and abilities, perhaps even more than in