10 Great Wine Families: Book Launch and Tasting

10th July, Berry Brothers & Rudd

A very special gathering of consumers and trade was held at Berry Brothers & Rudd in St James’, London, on the 10th July, to celebrate the launch of 10 Great Wine Families – A tour through Europe by Master of Wine Fiona Morrison.

In the second title from the Académie du Vin Library, still hot off the press, Fiona (herself a member of the Thienpont family) gives a personal insight into the triumphs, the tribulations and the many challenges facing her own and nine more of Europe’s most celebrated winemaking dynasties: Frescobaldi, Gaja, Torres, Perrin, Knoll, Niepoort, Palacios, Müller and Liger-Belair.

We were honoured to welcome to the tasting in person Jacques Thienpont, Lamberto Frescobaldi, Miguel Torres Jr, Angelo Gaja, François Perrin, Dirk Niepoort, Alvaro Palacios, Emmerich Knoll Jr and Emmerich Knoll Sr. It was a privilege to taste such an amazing set of wines alongside the winemakers who created them.

The following iconic wines were tasted, with representatives from seven out of the 10 families present:

  • 2018 QBA Riesling, Egon Müller

  • 2015 Torres Varietat Recuperada No.23, Forcada, Familia Torres

  • 2009 Grüner Veltliner Loibner Vinothekfüllung, Weingut Emmerich Knoll

  • 2015 L’Ermita, The Palacios Dynasty

  • 2015 Sorì San Lorenzo, Gaja

  • 2010 Vosne-Romanée, Clos du Château, Monopole Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair

  • 2007 Hommage à Jacques Perrin, Magnum, Vignobles Perrin

  • 2008 Le Pin, Magnum, Thienpont

  • 2006 Castel Giocondo Ripe al Convento, Magnum, Brunello di Montalcino, Frescobaldi

  • 2017 Niepoort Vintage Port, Magnum, Niepoort

  • 1997 Niepoort Colheita Port, Niepoort

In the view of Simon McMurtrie, Publisher at Académie du Vin Library, Fiona’s book presents a unique opportunity to look beyond the labels and to understand what drives the families concerned to produce some of the world’s finest wines. “Take one sip,” says Simon, “and you can feel the love, care, and unfailing commitment to quality that has gone into these remarkable expressions of the winemaker’s art.”

This is the first English-language edition of the book, which was originally published in Belgium. As Susan Keevil, editor-in-chief at Académie du Vin Library, says: “We firmly believe that at the heart of wine appreciation lies an understanding of just how much goes into making wine. Consequently we are delighted to be bringing Fiona’s book to an English-speaking audience. The sheer skill and dedication of these families deserves to be more widely known.”

A special thank you to the winemakers who supported this event and to Berry Brothers & Rudd for accommodating us in such splendidly congenial surroundings.

NewsLilla O'Connor