There are many famous families in the world of fine wine production. Some have been in the business for centuries, while others have only recently entered into it. Regardless of how long they've been around, all of these families have made a significant impact on the industry.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the most famous families and figureheads in wine production. We’ll learn about their history and what makes them so successful!
The Antinori family are some of the most famous wine producers in the world. They’ve been making wine since the 13th century, and today they own over 300 acres of vineyards across Italy. Antinori wines are known for their elegance and depth of flavour, and they’re often awarded top marks by wine critics.
Hailing from Florence in 1202, the Antinori family are one of Italy’s oldest and most prestigious winemaking families, as well as being a leading producer in Tuscany. Their main estate is located near Florence, where they produce Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino.
The start of the Antinori wine empire began when Pietro Antinori took over his father’s winery near Florence. Since then, their wines have won many awards and are considered some of the best in Italy today.
The Antinori’s are known for their award-winning wines, which are made from a blend of traditional and modern techniques. Their signature wine is the Tignanello, a Super Tuscan red that’s been produced since the 1970s. It’s won numerous awards over the years, including being named Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year in 2007.
Based in the Napa Valley, Mondavi is one of the most well-known wine producers in the world. The company was founded by Robert Mondavi, who helped make California wines some of the most respected in the industry.
Mondavi is known for its high-quality Cabernet Sauvignons, which have won many awards over the years. In fact, the winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon was voted “Best Wine in the World” by a panel of experts at an event in London.
Foundational to the Californian wine industry, Mondavi is a must-know name for any wine lover because of their dedication to making great wines.
Mondavi’s winemakers work hard to make sure every bottle of wine is perfect before it goes into the bottle; they use the traditional method, which means that each grape berry is put in a separate tank and fermented on its own until it turns into wine.
The grapes are then blended together according to a recipe developed by the winemaker and his/her team, who taste every single wine in order to make sure they are giving you the best possible product.
This process requires significant resources and is expensive – but it’s worth it because when you drink Mondavi wines, there’s no doubt that what comes out of your glass.
The Gallo family has been involved in the wine business since the early 1900s when they started selling grapes to local wineries. Over time, they’ve grown their own vineyards and started producing wines under the E&J Gallo Winery label. Today, the company sells billions of bottles of wine each year and is one of the largest wineries in the world.
Joseph Gallo created Gallo Winery in 1933. Over the next half-century, he built it into an international brand by producing high-quality wine at affordable prices that anyone could enjoy – from drinkers who prefer white zinfandel to those who go for red blends or cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay varietals.
The house of Gallo specializes in producing affordable, quality wine that is easy to drink.
But it wasn’t always this way: when Joseph first started his winery during Prohibition (1933), he made wines from grapes grown locally around Modesto California called ‘Charboneau.’ These were available for purchase only by the gallon or half-gallon jug at $0.90 each.
It wasn’t until 1935 that Joseph got his hands on some French champagne yeast cultured from bottles found discarded during World War II which he used as part of an experiment to make sparkling wines under pressure in barrels using carbon dioxide gas produced naturally when fermenting sugars into alcohols like ethanol (aka ethyl alcohol).
He produced some 600 cases of this sparkling wine which was called ‘Beaulieu.’ The name means ‘beautiful place’ in French, and it stuck. Today, Gallo is known as ‘The World’s Largest Family-Owned Winery’ and produces over 40 million cases annually across 35 countries worldwide.
The Famille Perrin is a French wine producer that’s been making wine since 1875. The company is known for its quality Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, which are some of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world.
Based in the city of Orange in southern France, it is a four-generation family business. They are respected for their sustainable and organic farming practices, which include following biodynamic principles to reduce chemical use and promote biodiversity in the vineyards.
Famille Perrin offers a range of wines from different varieties using traditional methods to produce high-quality fine wines. These methods include using whole clusters of grapes in the fermentation process, as well as using a basket press for extracting the juice.
The Perrin family is also known for their charitable work. They established the Fondation Famille Perrin in 2003 to help promote and support sustainable viticulture practices around the world.
In addition to their wine production business, the Famille Perrin also has a cheese factory that produces over 100 different types of cheese.
The Frescobaldi family has a wine-making tradition that spans more than 700 years, making them one of the oldest families in Tuscany, Italy. They are also one of the most prestigious and influential names in Italian wine production.
The Frescobaldi’s own over 250 hectares (618 acres) of vineyards in the Chianti region of Tuscany. The unique terroir of the Chianti area produces some of the most highly sought-after wines in the world.
The wines produces in this area are primarily Sangiovese, with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot added to create the Tuscan red wine known as Super Tuscans.
The Frescobaldi’s also produce a wide range of wines from other regions in Italy such as Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and IGT wines.
The Frescobaldi name is synonymous with quality and excellence in Italian wine production. The name is also associated with quality food products, such as olive oil and marmalades. They even have their own line of bakery products!
In addition to their wine business, they also have a chain of high-end hotels. The first of these was opened in Florence in 2006 and it has since grown to include locations around Italy and even one location in Boston, Massachusetts.
Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite
In 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased the Château Lafite vineyard in the Pauillac appellation of Bordeaux, France. The estate has been producing excellent Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated wines ever since and is widely considered to be one of the best wine estates in Bordeaux.
In 1975, Baron Elie de Rothschild purchased a vineyard that was close to his childhood home in Bordeaux and began making wine under the “Rothschild” name.
This estate is known as Château Clarke and it produces wines that are blended from 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and just a touch of Petit Verdot grapes to produce a medium-bodied wine with soft tannins.
This family is one of the oldest and most influential families in France, the Rothschild’s are known for their banking legacy and their wine.
The Rothschild family is currently run by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild and his wife Ariane who have taken over the winemaking operations at Château Clarke as well as a few other Bordeaux estates.
Château Lafite Rothschild is a legendary winery located in the Bordeaux region of France. Although it was not always called Château Lafite, it has been owned and operated by the same family for more than two centuries. Today, this estate is known as one of the most important wine producers in all of France.
While Château Lafite is probably the most famous of the Rothschild’s properties, the family also owns Châteaux Mouton-Rothschild, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and Château d’Armailhac.
The Krugs are another well-known wine dynasty. This Franco-German family has been producing champagne since 1843 when Joseph Krug founded his eponymous Champagne House.
Although this House was founded in France, its founder actually came from Mainz, Germany. As early as 1841, Joseph Krug had already been working as a cellar master for the Champagne house of Jacquesson & Fils where he developed a passion for producing champagne.
After establishing his own business and gaining some notoriety in the field of champagne-making, Joseph then recruited his sons to join him in the family business.
The Krugs have since been producing some of the world’s most highly acclaimed champagnes and are now run by the fourth generation of Krugs. Some of their more popular brands include Krug Grande Cuvée, Krug Clos d’Ambonnay, and Krug Rosé.
The Thienpont family is one of Bordeaux’s most influential winemaking families. The family has made its mark in the industry through their ownership of several well-known estates, including Vieux Château Certan and Le Pin.
The Thienponts were also instrumental in helping to develop some prominent estates that are now owned by other families, such as Château Pavie and Château Angélus.
Starting in the 1970s, with their acquisition of Vieux Château Certan, they began to express more and more interest in viticulture. Over the past two decades, they have become one of Bordeaux’s most prominent winemaking families because of their quest for quality and the excellence of their wines.
The Bollinger family is one of the most renowned winemaking dynasties in Champagne. The dynasty began with Jacques Bollinger, who founded the company in 1829.
The name Bollinger is synonymous with tradition, quality and excellence in Champagne.
His grandson, Pierre-Paul, was a driving force behind the development of modern champagne production techniques and he also helped to establish Champagne’s reputation as an AOC.
His son, Jacques, took over in 1971 and he presided over a period of expansion for the company. The Bollinger family has maintained its status with the acquisition of other wineries such as Ayala in 2005, which has allowed the family to diversify into other wine regions.
The Guigals are an iconic family of winemakers based in Ampuis, a small village outside Lyon that has been cultivating vines for more than two millennia. In the 1930s, Etienne Guigal started producing wine from the grapes grown on his family’s vineyards.
After World War II, Etienne began expanding the company and purchased vines from Burgundy and Rhône Valley. His son Marcel took over in 1961 and expanded further by acquiring vineyards in the Northern Rhône, including La Mouline, La Landonne and Cote-Rotie for which Guigal is most well-known.
Today, the Guigal estate comprises more than 140 acres of vines and produces wine from 13 appellations in France. The wines are distributed in over 70 countries and have garnered critical acclaim – including numerous “100 Point” ratings from Robert Parker – for their balance, complexity and longevity.
One of the oldest wine companies in Germany, Staffelter Hof was founded in 1447 and has been family-owned for more than 20 generations. Located on the steep slopes of Kayersberg, between Trier and Koblenz, they produce wines from Riesling grapes grown in Mosel Valley – Germany´s most prestigious wine region.
Staffelter Hof is known for their Rieslings, which are consistently some of the most awarded wines in the world because of their great acidity, balance and overall elegance.
They also produce an excellent Kerner – a varietal hybrid created accidentally by August Herold in 1929 at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute when he crossed Trollinger and Riesling.
Champagne Deutz, Amour de Deutz 2010
This bottle of Champagne is a Blanc de Blancs, made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. It has a light and refreshing citrus flavour profile with hints of green apple and pear. The wine was aged on the lees for 36 months adding complexity to the final product.
Champagne is a traditional Valentine’s Day gift, and this bottle of Deutz is perfect for a romantic evening with your loved one. This effervescent treat will pair well with oysters or a light seafood dish.
- Vintage – 2010
- Alcohol value – 12% ABV
- Region – Aÿ, France
Founded by William Deutz and Pierre-Hubert Geldermann in 1838, Deutz is one of the most prestigious Champagne houses in France. Originally named for its founder William Deutz, the name was changed to Deutz Geldermann-Piper Heidsieck following a takeover by Piper-Heidsieck in 1989.
The brand has been owned by EPI (Edmond de Rothschild Group) since 2000. The brand is renowned for its unique style, attributed to the use of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the best Grand Cru vineyards in Ay, a village that produces some of the finest grapes in Champagne.
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose 2016
A fresh and elegant Rosé Champagne with a delicate mousse and lively acidity, the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé is a stunning example of top-notch Champagne. The wine has an attractive nose of red berries and citrus fruit with hints of white flowers, dried apricots and toasted bread.
On the palate, it shows a great balance between its elegant structure, fresh acidity and light fruit flavours of strawberry, raspberry and citrus. A subtle hint of spice further adds to the complexity.
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé is a blend from three grape varieties: 45% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 20% Meunier. The base wine comes from about 80 different crus, with 20% of the wine coming from the rosé cuvée.
- Vintage – 2016
- Alcohol Value – 12% ABV
- Region – Champagne, France
Billecart-Salmon, founded in 1818, is the oldest family-owned Champagne House in Mareuil-Sur-Ay. The business was founded by Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon, whose families had been winegrowers for several generations.
The vineyard is located on the hillsides of Champagne’s top villages including Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzenay and Mareuil-Sur-Aÿ.
The Billecart family own just under 30 hectares of vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims & Vallée de la Marne. The Domaine wines form a third of their production; they also have long standing relationships with winegrowers in the region, and acquire grapes from over 50 hectares of additional vineyards.
Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2018
This golden straw-coloured wine has a complex nose of lemon, green apple, toast and vanilla. The palate is rich and creamy with flavours of baked apple, pear and crème brûlée. The wine finishes with long notes of toasted oak
Bright and fresh this wine has aromas of tropical fruits, citrus and hints of vanilla. The palate is very soft with fresh acidity and cool minerality, pairing well with soft cheeses and other delicate dishes.
- Vintage – 2018
- Alcohol Value – 13.9% ABV
- Region – Napa Valley, California
Situated in the heart of the Napa Valley, Chateau Montelena is one of the few wineries to continue using traditional methods and ancient production techniques which have been passed down through many generations.
The estate was founded in 1882 when Alfred Tubbs purchased a plot of land for use as a commercial vineyard. After his death, his son, James Barrett took over control of the property and began producing wine under the Chateau Montelena name.
Famous for its Chardonnay, the winery has won numerous awards over the years.
Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2019
Cool and refined, this Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel is a perfect wine to enjoy on a special occasion.
With delicate aromas of apricot and peach, the wine has a well-rounded flavour with hints of honey and citrus fruit. Packed full of intense flavours, it is a perfect wine to pair with your meal.
This Auslese Goldkapsel is a vintage wine, meaning that it has been made from grapes harvested in a single year.
- Vintage – 2019
- Alcohol Value – 7% ABV
- Region – Nahe, Germany
Spread across ten sites in the Nahe Valley, the Donnhoff family have been cultivating grapes for over 200 years.
The winery has earned a well-respected reputation for its award-winning wines, winning trophies and gold medals at some of the most prestigious competitions around the world.