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Introduction of the family
Tradition & Innovation
Three generations of the Drouhin family now preside over the destiny of the eponymous House
It is directed by the four great-grandchildren of Joseph Drouhin, born between 1961 and 1968. They grew up in the vineyards and acquired a deep understanding of wine alongside their father, Robert Drouhin. They all have their own role and they share the same passion for wine. The fifth generation is also making its mark, with Laurène, the eldest daughter of Véronique, joining the House in 2020.
From vintage to vintage, they perpetuate tradition and innovate to push the boundaries in the pursuit of the « elegant perfection » that has made Joseph Drouhin wines renowned.
At the operational helm of the House from 1957 to 2003, Robert Drouhin played an essential role in its modern development. Born in 1933, his love for wine was instilled in him by Maurice Drouhin, who was then leading the House. « He early on imparted to me the notions of vintages and Climats to understand the richness of Burgundy » Robert recalls. In the 1950s, Robert studied Law in Paris and then pursued Literature in Heidelberg. He returned to Beaune to succeed Maurice, who was unwell, and became the president of Maison Joseph Drouhin at the young age of 24. In 1961, Robert married Françoise Grafé, and they welcomed the births of Philippe, Véronique, Laurent, and Frédéric. Throughout the years, they passed on their ethics, passion, and knowledge to their children. Robert significantly expanded the estate, particularly in Grand Crus, and added the acquisitions in Chablis in 1968, as well as the establishment of the Oregon estate alongside his daughter Véronique in 1987. Inherently pioneer, he placed full trust in Laurence Jobard, one of the first woman winemakers in Burgundy. This was in 1976. A decade later, Robert Drouhin embarked on the conversion of the estate to organic and biodynamic viticulture, together with his children. Today, they continue to lead the House together.
As the youngest of the Drouhin siblings, Frédéric Drouhin presides over the destiny of the eponymous Maison, fully aware that he inherits centuries of history and extraordinary terroirs that must be passed on. He pursued his education far away from the Clos des Mouches, in Connecticut, at the University of Hartford. There, he obtained an MBA with a major in marketing while also experiencing his first harvest alongside his sister Véronique at Domaine Drouhin Oregon. Gradually, he climbed the ranks, from marketing to sales, until assuming the role of General Manager under his father in 1995. Five years later, Robert Drouhin entrusted him with full leadership before Frédéric became President of the Executive Board in 2003. « One might think that I am only focused on numbers, but my responsibility, much like my father's, leads me to the vineyards with Philippe and to the cellar with Véronique because I must know our wines by heart », he explains. Frédéric Drouhin and his wife Claude de Nicolay have three children. Frédéric enjoys cultivating roses and has a passion for gastronomy.
Oenologist, guardian of the Drouhin style
Born on December 1st at the Hospices de Beaune, exceptionally on a Wine Auction Day postponed that year, Véronique had a predetermined destiny. To complete the picture, she grew up alongside her brothers, running through the vineyards. She chose the path of oenology at the University of Dijon and was the only woman in her class of 1985. Her education took her to Bordeaux and naturally to the family estate, where she worked beside winemaker Laurence Jobard, as well as to Oregon to write a new chapter in the Drouhin family's history. She carried out her first « personal » winemaking in 1988 at the recently acquired Domaine Drouhin Oregon, under her father's ownership. Since then, she has been constantly juggling between Burgundy and Oregon. Pianist and history lover, her area is the cellar where she used to play hide-and-seek as a child. « It is my duty to respect the grapes that arrive in the winery in order to enhance the signatures of our precious and esteemed terroirs to their fullest potential », emphasizes Véronique, who is the mother of three children: Laurène, Arthur, and Louise. Thus, the vintages succeed each others as a glorious symphony of precision and purity.
The man of the vines
His discretion conceals a quiet strength. If there is a guardian of the temple, it is the vineyard, his universe. From a young age, Philippe accompanied his father in the vineyards. These moments shaped a lifelong passion. After graduating from the Business School in Tours, he pursued technical studies at the viticultural high school in Beaune. The 1988 vintage marked his official return to the estate. Quickly, he established a philosophy with the conversion to organic and biodynamic farming, which has become the DNA of Maison Joseph Drouhin. In just a few years, Philippe has brought his scientific rigour and sensitivity to achieve even greater precision in expressing the Burgundian terroirs. From vine plant selection to seeking the optimal grape ripeness during the crucial harvest period, Philippe is the man of the upstream process, ensuring that the purest fruit possible satisfies his sister Véronique and Jérôme Faure-Brac in the cellar. The winemaker then steps aside, as discretion dictates.
The family ambassador
Laurent loved playing hide-and-seek in the hectare of cellar. He emerged with a Proust’s madeleine whose noble aromas are those of fermenting grapes. By regularly accompanying his father in the vineyards, Laurent also understands the importance of preserving the family heritage. « Our name must embody family values that carry a certain idea of wine », he summarizes. To him, Drouhin signifies a duty of excellence. After graduating from the Business School in Paris, he initially took on the role of sales representative in the capital. Around the year 2000, he ventured to the Caribbean before seizing the North American market. With his wife and two children, Aurore and Amaury, he settled in the New York region, from where he oversees the commercialization and marketing of all Drouhin wines with a special relationship with Dreyfus Ashby, importers of the family's wines since the 1960s. Thus, he carries the family values and his perception of wine to every corner of the globe.
Primum Familiæ Vini
The Leading Wine Families
Primum Familiae Vini, also known as PFV, is an international association of some of the world's finest wine producing families from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
PFV was established in 1992 and membership is by invitation only, with a maximum of 12 highly respected families who have been providing their expertise over generations. PFV members aim to uphold and promote the traditions and values of family-owned wineries, and to ensure that these ideals survive and flourish for future generations.