by Fred McMillin
for February 23, 1998

The Gentil Appeal


Founded in 1639, Hugel is the most famous producer in Alsace.

...Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine

Five of the eight major varietals of Alsace are Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Sylvaner and Muscat.

...The Oxford Companion of Wine

The Rest of the Story

Here's a bargain! For less than $10 you can taste all five of those varieties in one wine by that famous Alsatian winery, Hugel. It's called GENTIL, and will be found in the graceful, tall bottles called flutes. (The law requires Alsatians to be sold only in that style of bottle.) Gentil is a recent revival of a centuries-old tradition of the area. Who better to make it than a winery that's seen it all since 1639.

The Wine (white)

1969 Hugel Gentil, Alsace, France
Food Affinity—Before and with all types of Oriental foods. Keep a bottle in the frig to serve with cookies and fruit when friends drop in unexpectedly.
Contact—If you don't want to call the winery at 89479215 in Alsace, try the U.S.A.
Importer: Frederick Wildman and Sons; Odila Galer-Noel is their Public Relations Director at 1-800-RED WINE, New York City.


It's hard for me to realize how long ago those first Hugel vines went into the ground...13 generations ago. Just about that time the bean Catherine de' Medici had brought to France is given a name, "haricot." Portugal throws off Moorish control and establishes a king, who is given the name Ferdinand I. In 1637 Venice builds the first public opera house, and three years later, the first European cafe.A sip of Hugel is a sip of history.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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