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Perrin brothers of Beaucastel named Decanter Men of the Year

Their winemaking influence extends from Provence to the US West coast and they have worked with figures as varied as Nicolas Jaboulet and Brad Pitt, which is why Decanter has awarded Jean-Pierre and Francois Perrin of Chateau Beaucastel the Decanter Men of the Year accolade for 2014.

Perrins

Jean-Pierre and Francois Perrin

The Perrin brothers have jointly claimed the annual prize in its 30th anniversary year, joining other illustrious figures such as Robert Mondavi, Angelo Gaja, Aubert de Villaine and Professor Emile Peynaud.

Building upon their father’s legacy, Jean-Pierre and Francois Perrin ‘have dedicated themselves to elevating the reputation not only of the Perrin name, but of the Rhone and its grapes, around the world,’ writes Decanter correspondent Jane Anson in the newly released April issue of Decanter magazine, where the award was first announced.

The brothers, a decade apart in age, were somewhat thrust to the sharp end of business at Beaucastel after the sudden death of their father, Jacques, in 1978.

But, they determined to continue his work. 'He preserved the identity of the [Rhone] region, championed local varieties and followed biodynamic principles in the 1970s - 30 years ahead of his time,' said Francois Perrin, in an interview with Decanter.

'We felt an obligation to succeed in his memory.' The 1989 creation of Hommage a Jacques Perrin, the most celebrated Beaucastel Cuvee, is a reflection of this.

After spending several years expanding in the Rhone, by buying plots of vines in villages including Cairanne, Gigondas and Rasteau, the Perrins began to look further afield to new ventures.

Their search took them to California, and eventually to Paso Robles, where they are now recognised as key instigators of what has become the Rhone Rangers movement on the US West Coast.

'California was driven by single varieties, but we believed that a blend of Rhone grapes would work best,' Francois said.

Have there been many family tensions along the way? 'There was never any rivalry between us,' said Francois. 'We simply bought competencies together.'

Read Jane Anson's full interview with the Perrin brothers in the April issue of Decanter magazine, out now. Get the digital version of the magazine here.

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