Bodegas Torres hosted Europe's leading wine families at the annual meeting of Primum Familiae Vini (PFV), an association of 11 internationally renowned wineries that have a centuries-long history. Seventy members of different generations from France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Spain met for three days in Vilafranca del Penedès last week to strengthen ties, exchange experiences and knowledge, and transmit the traditions and values of a family-owned winery to the next generation.
This is the third time that Torres has hosted the wine families, coinciding with the years in which Torres has held the rotating Presidency of an association without peer in the wine world. Mireia Torres, part of the family's fifth generation and Director of Research-Development-Innovation (RDI), as well as of the Jean Leon and Torres Priorat wineries, served as President during the past year. Her father, Miguel A. Torres, headed the association shortly after its founding, from 1993 to 1994. Her brother, Miguel Torres Maczassek, currently the company's General Manager, was President from 2005 to 2006. From now until July 2017, the Presidency will be held by Egon Müller, owner of Egon Müller-Scharzhof in Germany's Mosel region.
According to Mireia Torres, “PFV represents an opportunity to share experiences, know-how and the values of different generations; an opportunity to join forces and go beyond what we would be capable of on our own. In the end, we're all facing similar challenges in a changing world: by sharing our knowledge, we can advance faster and pave the way for future generations.”
During their stay, the association's members visited the Penedès, the bodegas of Torres and Jean Leon, and some of the company's flagship vineyards. They got to know the projects the winery is working on and tasted some of the ancestral varieties that have been revived and vinified on an experimental basis. They also tasted new wines that will be launched in the near future. The meeting also provided a chance to exchange information on commercial matters, winemaking and research, as well as agreeing on joint actions that members will undertake during the coming 12 months.
An association that promotes family values
PFV was founded almost 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.