Barton & Guestier is the oldest and one of the most prestigious wine houses in Bordeaux. With nearly 300 years of history, Barton & Guestier was established in 1725 by Thomas Barton, a renowned negociant coming from Ireland. In the early 19th century, his grandson joined forces with Frenchman Daniel Guestier, a reputed importer of Bordeaux wines into Baltimore, in the British colonies in America, and the one who delivered the wines that President Thomas Jefferson had ordered from the Barton family. It remains the most iconic French wine brand bringing authentic French terroir and emotions to wine lovers all over the world.
The Barton & Guestier range represents a wonderful diversity of the best French wine appellations with about 200 passionate winegrowers over the main winegrowing regions: Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley, Languedoc, Gascony and Corsica. With its wide variety of wines, Barton & Guestier enables wine lovers - from the occasional wine drinker to the connoisseur - to make a journey through France. The B&G winemaking team guarantees consistent quality and style, vintage after vintage. The company headquarters is based at Château Magnol, Haut-Médoc, a great Cru Bourgeois wine estate certified “High Environmental Value” and ISO 14001. Chateau Magnol also serves as a guesthouse and wine academy open to wine professionals from all over the world.
An important white wine appellation in the Touraine and one of the top in all of the Loire, Vouvray uniquely specializes in a wide range of styles from dry to sweet, and still to sparkling, each with its own definitive character. Vouvray is almost always 100% Chenin blanc (however up to 5% Menu Pineau is theoretically allowed but not often used).
Vouvray is also the name of a pretty little town just east of Tours on the northern bank of the Loire—its vineyards surround it to the northeast. Houses and cellars are carved out of the local tuffeau, a chalky or sandy, fine-grained limestone. Vineyards inhabit clay and gravel topsoil over tuffeau on the plateau, the best of which have a slight slope with a southerly aspect.
Chenin blanc’s high acidity and natural adaptability allow it to produce a wide range of styles with enormous success. Styles under the Vouvray name include sparkling, both Brut and Demi-Sec and still: Sec (dry) and Tendre (off-dry) as well as Demi-Sec (noticeably sweet), Moelleux (very sweet) and Liquoreaux (botrytized). Most can age about five years but the best quality versions will continue to improve over decades.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Somm Secret—Landing in South Africa in the mid 1800s, today the country has double the acreage of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. There is also a new wave of dedicated producers committed to restoring old Chenin vines.