July 10: Marc Perrin of Famille Perrin has been appointed for one year (July 2019 - June 2020 as the new President of Primum Familiae Vini (PFV), a group of 12 families who constitute a strong alliance with the members - Antinori, Joseph Drouhin, Egon Muller Scharzhof, Famille Hugel, Familia Torres, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Famille Perrin, Tempos Vega Sicilia, Tenuta San Guido, Symington Family Estates, Pol Roger and Domaine Clarence Dillon, writes Subhash Arora
Marc Perrin has taken over from Hubert de Billy of Champagne Pol Roger. In a customary Presidential message Perrin said, ‘At Famille Perrin, we strongly believe in Family’s sustainability and it is an honour to have been welcomed by this great association and to take part in this amazing adventure. It is my duty and pleasure to thank my predecessor Hubert de Billy for the great job he did and all the energy he put into it.’
PFV has a total of more than 2,500 years of experience. For them, the family means safeguarding values without which it is impossible to produce great wines and preserve the common heritage. ‘In this we remain symbols, and models, for the world of Wine and perhaps even beyond. But time is flying and the world is changing. Generations are passing and PFV must keep going, adapting to new challenges so we can be stronger together. It is our objective that the younger generation at PFV learn how valuable it is to keep these wine families going. By passing our experience to them, they will continue to strive to sustain their respective wine regions and their sustainability- economically, socially and environmentally. Only by doing so, we will be able to maintain the engagement PFV members all agreed on: a life-long commitment to wine excellence.”
For several years after Robert Mondavi opted out of the Family as he sold out his business to Constellation Brands in 2004, there were only 11 members. One of the requirements to be a member is that one family member must join the visit together to some countries besides taking part in major shows like Prowein. The last they were in India was in 2007 when they visited Mumbai and The Taj President had organised an excellent evening where I had the pleasure of meeting the Family members and reporting in delWine. They were 11 members. I was told that the existing members were in no hurry to induct a fresh member without ensuring the unanimity though the search was on,
Finally last year Domaine Clarence Dillon, owners of three iconic vineyards in Bordeaux, Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission Haut-Brion and Château Quintus were accepted into the Family Fold. Under Prince Robert’s leadership, the family company has more recently created the super-premium Bordeaux brand Clarendelle, a Fine wine shop La Cave du Château, the 2 Michelin star restaurants, Le Clarence in Paris and Bordeaux’s fine wine merchant, Clarence Dillon Wines. Prince Robert is a founding member, board member and President of the Cultural Committee of La Cite du Vin in Bordeaux, the world’s premier institution for celebrating the heritage and culture of wine.
PFV was created to encourage and celebrate the special contribution that wine families have made over time to some of the world’s greatest wine regions. The 12-member families believe that the sharing of generations of experience between them is of great value in sustaining their vineyards, and that this extends especially to the younger generation who have gained immensely by working in each other’s wineries. Above all, PFV stands for wine excellence and of long family tradition, and their special values, in a fast-changing world.
Interestingly all the members of the family are represented in India with varying amount of business activity. Joseph Drouhin and Familia Torres are the most active in India through the Torres –Thapar joint venture Prestige Wines and Antinori has been very successful through Berkmann cellars India whereas all others are present through one importer or the other. The last I had visited them was at Prowein 2019 in Düsseldorf.
Famille Perrin was named ‘Wine Family of the Year 2018’ at the 14th Meininger Awards – Excellence in Wine & Spirit, organised annually by German publisher Meininger Verlag and organisers of Mundusvini International Wine Awards, during ProWein. The legendary Château de Beaucastel owned by the family, is popular internationally for its partnership with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at Miraval winery making Rose, though it has propagated Rhone Valley and its grapes as well as Chateauneuf-du-Pape very well because of blending all the 13 grapes allowed.
While wishing Marc Perrin well, we hope he can convince the other constituents of PFV to make a long overdue trip to India soon- 12 years gap is a long time to stay away for any business, though each chateau has been represented in India through individual visits and enjoys varied success. Famille Perrin has been a part of PFV since 2006. For details visit
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