France is home to some of the world’s finest wines. In the Rhone Valley, the Chateau de Beaucastel winery traces its roots all the way back to 1549, when a barn and plot of land were bought by one Pierre de Beaucastel.
The estate now finds itself in the hands of the Perrin family, which has been associated with the estate since the early 20th century, when Pierre Tramier transferred control to his son-in-law, Pierre Perrin, who in turn passed the mantle to his son, Jacques.
Today Jacques’ own sons – Jean-Pierre and Francois – work alongside other members of the Perrin family to manage the estate and produce a range of top quality wines.
The concept of “terroir” is hugely important to the family. “Terroir is four things: it’s the grapes, it’s the soil, it’s the weather and it’s the man with the habits and the work,” Francois Perrin told CNBC’s Lasting Legacy.
With such strong family ties running through the business, could they ever consider letting outsiders in to the decision-making areas of the business? The answer to that question, it seems, is to be pragmatic.
“Up to now we have been very lucky because we have had the sufficient knowledge and people within the family,” Marc said. “But if it was not the case anymore, of course we would rather have non-family members which have the capacity rather than family members which (do not have)… the capacity.”
The Beaucastel estate has been around for centuries, and the Perrins currently involved in its management are well aware that through their efforts today, they are laying the groundwork for tomorrow.
“You don’t plant a vineyard for you, you plant a vineyard for the next generation,” Francois said. “It’s important to know that your work – what you are doing today – is not for you, it’s for the next generation,” he added.