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Europe’s oldest luthier workshop wins Primum Familiae Vini prize

Maison Bernard in Brussels, Europe’s oldest luthier workshop run by a father and son team, has won this year’s €100,000 Primum Familiae Vini prize.

The jury, formed of a member of each of PVF’s twelve winemaking families, chose the violin maker and repairer from a host of worthy family-run firms. Maison Bernard is managed by father and son team Jan and Matthijs Strick. The pair were recently entrusted with the repair of a rare Stradivarius from 1732.

Jan is an international authority on the Flemish school of violin making of the 17th and 18th centuries. The prize money will be put towards the publication of his book on violins from this period.

It will also finance Matthijs’s travel to Chicago to gain experience with one of the world’s top violin shops.

The prized was devised by the Primum Familiae Vini to encourage independent family-owned companies to continue their projects and to incentivise product excellence, generational succession, social responsibility and sustainability.

‘’We had many applicants from around the world and selection was difficult, but the jury felt that Maison Bernard is a brilliant example of exquisite handicraft and the maintenance of an ancient artisanal tradition in family hands, exactly as we fight to sustain our own enterprises,” said PFV president, Matthieu Perrin.

The 12 PFV member estates are: Marchesi Antinori (Tuscany), Baron Philippe de Rothschild (Bordeaux), Joseph Drouhin (Burgundy), Domaine Clarence Dillon (Bordeaux), Egon Müller Scharzhof (Mosel), Famille Hugel (Alsace), Pol Roger (Champagne), Famille Perrin (Rhône Valley), Symington Family Estates (Portugal), Tenuta San Guido (Tuscany), Familia Torres (Spain) and Vega Sicilia (Ribera del Duero).

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