The Primum Familiae Vini, otherwise known as the PFV, was created to bring some of the greatest winemakers in the world together. Working in tandem these producers work to ring the absolute best wines to connoisseurs.
Commonly translated to mean either the best or the first families of wine, the members of the PFV are all extremely prestigious winemakers that have been honing their craft for more than a century. Membership to the group is limited so that only family run companies can become part of it. Furthermore, there can only ever be 12 members of the group at any one time. It encapsulates a number of the best producers from Italy, France and Germany.
The concept was first created back in 1991, during a conversation between Miguel Torres and Robert Drouhin. Together they decided that the crème-de-la-crème of the winemaking world should come together and celebrate in their shared histories while also offering the best in French, German and Italian wines all under one banner.
The idea came to fruition when the group was officially formed in 1993, with the first twelve members finding it much easier to exchange ideas and information that could benefit the overall product.
As mentioned, membership is limited and is decided on by a group vote. This has to be unanimous amongst all members of the PFV and will usually see one group exit to facilitate the introduction of another. Only winemakers that are considered to be amongst the very best in their region will ever be considered, so fans can rest assured that only the best Italian wine will be available from the group.
Bonded By Love For Wine
Each member of the group is carefully selected because of their love for the craft that goes into making an excellent bottle of wine. In fact, this pursuit of excellence is perhaps the one thing that truly unites all of the members and allows them to overcome cultural boundaries in an effort to share ideas and improve the wine industry for everybody.
Each member of the group uses their collective expertise for the benefit of the whole, exchanging ideas and production methodologies to ensure that the best keeps on getting better. With an eye towards innovation and the future in particular, all twelve members aim to use the information gathered as a result of being part of the group to create ever-more impressive vintages.
This exchange of information can only be facilitated because each of the members of the group trusts the other, which is why the entry requirements are so stringent. What each member learns from the others not only translates into their own winemaking but can also play a huge part in educating the future generations and ensuring that family-owned winemakers continue to prosper and maintain the reputations for excellence that have played such a large part in earning each of them international recognition.
In short, the group represents a certain standard in excellence when it comes to the craft of winemaking. With new ideas and philosophies constantly being debated, you can rest assured that any wines made by the members of this prestigious group will be of a high quality and will make use of the latest techniques.
As part of membership into the group, each winemaker must agree to operate by the PFV charter. This ensures that each retains its dedication to the continued expansion of the wine industry, while also maintaining respect for their heritage and the heritage of each of the member groups. As custodians of some of the oldest winemaking families in Europe each member must promise to do the following:
- Uphold the regional winemaking traditions that have played such a large part in the drinks they have produced.
- Endeavour to share the challenges of running family-owned businesses on an international stage.
- To pass on the knowledge gained over centuries to the younger generation so that they can continue the great work of the members.
- To exchange information in regards to vines and production methods while still respecting the traditional methods that are used to create some of their most famed wines.
- Aim to foster a sense of social and environmental responsibility in their day-to-day business practices and in regards to what is taught to the next generation.
- To espouse the virtues of the enjoyment of fine wines in moderation, rather than in large amounts, to facilitate further enjoyment of the drink in addition to creating a continued respect for the quality of their craft.
Despite the fact that the group usually has twelve members as standard, there are currently only eleven who have made the grade. They are as follows:
- Antinori – An Italian wine company that can trace its heritage back to the 1300s and played an enormous part in the ‘Super Tuscan’ era of Italian wine making.
- Perrin and Fils – A French winemaker that has been a member of the group since 2006. They are perhaps best known for the Château de Beaucaste range.
- Château Mouton Rothschild – Known for being the first estate to begin complete château bottling of the harvest, this French winemaker has been extremely influential ever since the 1800s.
- Vega Sicilia – A Spanish producer that is perhaps best known for the sheer quality of some of the winemakers that have worked under its banner over the years.
- Hugel & Fils – A huge influence in the Alsace wine industry, having been responsible for many of the advancements in that area of the market over the course of the 20th
- Maison Joseph Drouhin – One of the founding members of the group and an ever-present since its inception in 1993.
- Pol Roger – One of the world’s most prestigious producers of Champagne, operating from the heart of the region.
- Bodegas Torres – One of the foremost wineries in the world when it comes to the production of organic wine.
- Egon Müller Scharzhof – One of the smallest winemakers in the group in terms of sheer size, but this by no means lessens the quality of their wine.
- Tenuta San Guido – An Italian winemaker known for the Sassicaia in addition to being a major player in the ‘Super Tuscan’ movement.
- Symington Family – The only Portuguese family in group, they create very high quality Madeira wine.