Primum Familiae Vini in Brazil

This week Dominic Symington is in Brazil, co-hosting a series of events which he has organised for the Primum Familiae Vini group.

Almost 20 years ago two of the world’s great winemakers, Robert Drouhin and Miguel Torres, were chatting as close friends do, of their respective businesses and the challenges they faced, both as makers of premium wines and as heads of family owned and run businesses.  Though they worked in different countries, they realised their concerns were common, and the idea was born to form an association of the top family-owned winemakers around the world in order to work together and share ideas and information on their unique issues.

Since then, the Primum Familiae Vini (PFV) group has developed, and the activities of its current eleven members have expanded, their charter now setting the following goals for the group:

  • To promote and defend the ethical values that are the backbone of family businesses.
  • To exchange viticultural and oenological information and promote traditional methods that underpin the quality of the wine and respect for the terroir.
  • To promote the consumption in moderation of fine wine, which we consider to be an essential tradition of a great lifestyle.

Each year there is an annual meeting of the group which includes members of the coming generation as well as current management, as just one step in handing down and re-enforcing the values of the group.  Plans are made for the coming year, which include educational visits between the winemakers or their production teams, to share information and technology.  Though their terroirs and wines are very different, there is much knowledge and experience to be shared, and in the past viticulturalists and bottling plant teams from each winemaker have exchanged visits to learn from one anothers’ successes, challenges and findings.

Another annual PFV event is what must be the ultimate wine roadshow.  Every year the group select an up and coming market for their wines, and organise a series of tastings and educational events in a key city or series of cities, to be rounded off with a grand gala dinner, showing the top wines of each maker.  The gala evening culminates in the auction of a special case, which contains the finest currently available vintage of a wine from each of the producers in the group.  All proceeds from the dinner and the auction are donated to a charity, this year Childhood Brazil, a branch of the World Childhood Foundation created in 1999 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Dominic and his son Anthony at the Rio de Janeiro tasting

This week, Dominic will be showing Graham’s wines at three different events, as well as the Gala dinner.  There are two trade tastings, one in São Paulo and another in Rio de Janeiro, where each of the eleven PFV members will show up to eight of their top wines.  Lucky Brazilian wine trade professionals will taste:

Graham’s 2007 Vintage Port
Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port
Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port
Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Graham’s 30 Year Old Tawny Port
Graham’s 40 Year Old Tawny Port

Also two DOC wines from Graham’s sister company, Quinta do Vesuvio:

Quinta do Vesuvio 2007 DOC Douro
Pombal do Vesuvio 2007 DOC Douro

A third tasting event will be held for some of the top opinion-makers of the Brazilian press, where family members will show just two wines:  one young and one old, and talk through the making and development of their wines.  From Graham’s, we will be showing two of our fabulous Vintage Ports:  2007 and 1980.

And as if that weren’t enough, Dominic and his colleagues from PFV will then move on to Chile where, in addition to a private dinner in Santiago, they will make working visits to some of the PFV members’ Chilean wineries.

The Symingtons are proud to be active members of the PFV group alongside:

Champagne Pol Roger
Joseph Drouhin
Hugel & Fils
Perrin & Fils
Marchesi Antinori
Tenuta San Guido
Vega Sicilia
Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Egon Müller-Scharzhof

To learn more about the Primum Familiae Vini and its members, visit their website at

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