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Famille Hugel pays tribute to unexpected death of son Etienne

Published:  11 April, 2016

Famille Hugel have announced the sudden death of Etienne Hugel on Saturday (April 9).

The 57-year-old was a well-known figure as a winemaker in the Alsace region.

He joined the Hugel & Fils family wine business in 1982 and spent many years in charge of promoting Famille Hugel wines abroad.

His father André Hugel paid tribute to his son.

"A visionary and a hard worker, my son Etienne travelled the world relentlessly, showing unparalleled people skills and infectious enthusiasm," he said. "Throughout his life he was able to communicate his passion, his professionalism and his personal values to all those with whom he worked.

"Famille Hugel wines are today proud to be represented by a great number of Alsace wine lovers who were able to share many pleasurable and convivial moments with Etienne."

The wines made from the Famille Hugel vineyards are now exported to more than 100 countries around the world.

Famille Hugel is one of the 12 members Primum Familiae Vini, an association of family-owned wineries with a limited membership that helped to promote wines from Alsace.

Mireia Torres, president of the Primum Familiae Vini, said the organisation had lost a "dear friend".

She added: "All the Primum Familiae Vini members are deeply saddened by his passing away and extend their condolences to his father, André Hugel, his wife Kaoru and his two children, Charlotte and Jean-Frédéric. We all have lost a dear friend and great supporter of the Primum Familiae Vini."

The family business began back in 1639, when Hans-Ulrich Hugel left his native Switzerland to escape the horrors of the Thirty Years' War and decided to settle in Riquewihr, in the Alsace winegrowing region.

For 12 generations in direct line, the Hugel family has worked to revive the reputation Alsace wine enjoyed in the 16th century.