Hubert de Billy, negende generatie Pol Roger: ‘Twenty-five years ago, my family was invited to join Primum Familiae Vini (PFV) which Robert Drouhin and Miguel Torres had created from scratch one year before. It was – and still is – a great honour to have been welcomed by this great association and to take part in this amazing adventure. It is my duty and my pleasure to thank my predecessor Jean-Frederic Hugel for the great job he did and all the energy he put into it.
I am now starting my third term as president and I am proud of all we have done together showing the world that wine is not just a product or even a business. The family dimension shows us wine is values!
A few days ago, one of the oldest Spanish family companies, Codorniu, was forced, after five centuries of family ownership, to allow one of the biggest private equity firms to acquire a majority holding. Time is flying and the world is changing. Generations are passing and PFV must keep going and adapting to new challenges and so we can be stronger together.
The structure of the companies that make up the Primum Familiae Vini, a family structure by definition, is what we know and have long mastered. Our companies have a total of 2,388 years of experience; for us, more than ever, the family means sustainability and, therefore, the safeguarding of values without which it is impossible to produce great wines and preserve our common heritage. In this we remain symbols, and models, for the world of Wine and perhaps even beyond.
We have decided to audit ourselves and look into what has been done in the past, to understand the very meaning of PFV for each and every member. We are determined to look forward to be able to say clearly where we would like to be in 10, 20 or 30 years and even more.
New ideas, new tools and new events. Many things will be decided in the near future to take PFV to the next level and make it better known, better understood and more attractive to all our friends and wine-lovers around the world. We will join together at Prowein and Vinexpo to show off the quality of our wines and, more specifically, our range of wines that complement each other and offer great synergy. May that message convey some of the unique values of PFV: Quality, Exclusivity, Responsibility, Heritage, Innovation.’
PFV was founded more than 25 years ago thanks to the initiative of Miguel A. Torres and Robert Drouhin, a leading winemaker in France’s Burgundy region. During an informal meeting in 1991, they realized that they shared the same interests and concerns. The following year, they decided to found the association with the goal of preserving a way of making wine and a business model: the family-owned winery. Thus, this select group of winemakers preserves and promotes the traditions and values of family-owned wineries. They also make sure to pass on their knowledge, experience and, above all, their passion for the wine world to younger generations.
The 11 families that make up PFV, which accepts members by invitation and unanimous decision only, have a centuries-long history, own vineyards and produce high-quality wines. Most importantly, they have maintained their unity for generations. The oldest winery is Marchesi Antinori from Tuscany, Italy. Founded in 1385, it has been in the same family for 26 generations. Famille Perrin from the Rhône Valley in France was founded in 1909 and represents the association’s youngest member.
France is also home to four other wineries: Champagne Pol Roger (1849), Joseph Drouhin (1880), Alsace’s Famille Hugel (1639) and Bordeaux’s Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1853). Two wineries are from Spain: Bodegas Torres (1870) and Ribera del Duero’s Vega Sicilia (1864), and two are from Italy: Tuscany’s Tenuta San Guido (1840) and the aforementioned Marchesi Antinori. Egon Müller-Scharzhof from Mosel, Germany (1797) and Symington Family Estates from Porto, Portugal (1882), complete the list of the historical wineries that make up Primum Familiae Vini.