A collection of 12 top wines from 12 of the world’s most renowned family-owned estates in the Primum Familiae Vini association went under the hammer at Sotheby’s and fetched £81,250 ($112,036), more than twice of its starting bid of £30,000.
Established in 1992, this international association of some of the world’s finest wine producing families from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain – the Primum Familiae Vini – represents the wine world’s leading names that remain to this day in family ownership.
The 12 families that currently make up the association are: Marchesi Antinori; Baron Philippe de Rothschild (Mouton); Joseph Drouhin; Egon Müller Scharzhof; Famille Hugel; Champagne Pol Roger; Famille Perrin; Symington Family Estates; Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia); Familia Torres; Vega Sicilia; and Domaine Clarence Dillon.
Every year, the families of the PFV each select one of their finest vintages to produce only 12 individually numbered, limited edition cases; Sotheby’s will offer Case Number 1 of 12 from this year’s release. Distinguishing Collection Case Number 1 from the other 2020 Limited Edition Cases is the addition of a rare Primum Familiae Vini passport that offers the buyer a single visit to each of the 12 members of the PFV.
The sale also represents the first time that a PFV Collection Case, alongside the Passport, is offered openly in the global fine wine market.
The passport will never expire, and can be redeemed at any point in future. It also comes with a commitment that a family member themselves will be present to receive the winning bidder (and up to three of their family or friends) to a lunch or dinner at their respective estates.
Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine, said: “With every bottle destined to become a legend from their respective regions, the twelve cases represent the first and only time that these great vintages will be available together. This case, Number 1 of the edition, will serve as the inspiration for and collective memory of a visit to each estate, where you are hosted by a family member. The people behind the wines define the wines that they make. The opportunity to meet twelve legendary producers, on your own timetable, is a dream that can come true, but only for the winning bidder. No passport was issued at all during 2020, and the maximum offered in any year is just one or two. The case we are offering is one of the only cases ever to be made available with this additional outstanding prize.”
Paul Symington, Chairman of the PFV, added: “Our twelve families are multi-generational and we all have a passionate and very personal commitment to our vineyards, to our wines and to the continuity of our family project. We meet together regularly to share our experiences and to make sure that our children grow up appreciating each other’s wine regions. In this Limited Edition Case you will find one of the finest wines that each of us have produced in recent years, and we have signed each bottle. We look forward to sharing a good bottle of wine over lunch or dinner with the winning bidder in each of our wineries in due course.”
George Lacey, Head of Auction Sales, UK, Sotheby’s Wine, said: “I am thrilled to have been able to work closely with the team at the Primum Familiae Vini in bringing this special lot to auction as part of my first sale with Sotheby’s. The PFV’s passionate commitment to its families’ values and continuity of outstanding winemaking in their respective regions has established them as luminaries in the world of wine, and it is a great privilege that the winning bidder will experience this first hand with the PFV Passport providing one of the most exclusive wine experiences ever offered.”
The signature of the family member who selected the individual wine has been engraved by hand onto each bottle, and each case has been hand-made by the renowned Thierry Drevelle in his atelier in Cognac, using ancient ‘Chêne de Marais’ sculpted into an elegant curve echoing the arches of the private cellars from which these wines originate.