Château Léoville Barton was created from the division of the Domaine de Léoville in 1826, when Hugh Barton, an Irishman who already owned Château Langoa in Saint Julien, bought part of the vineyard. A new great Bordeaux property was therefore born, alongside the two other plots that resulted from the sale, Léoville Las Cases and Léoville Poyferré. Today, nearly two centuries later, the property still belongs to the Barton family, a relatively rare occurrence in Bordeaux, where châteaux have a habit of changing hands fairly regularly. After taking over in 1983, Anthony Barton managed to put the difficult vintages of the Second World War and the period of decline in the 1970s behind him, and launched a spectacular revival that has been particularly notable since 1985. The 21st century began with a remarkable 2000 vintage, followed by a simply sublime 2005. The property’s numerous strong points include a high proportion of old vines and the use of traditional wooden vats, which were deliberately preserved when most Bordeaux properties began changing over to stainless steel. There is no château or winery on site; vinification and ageing are carried out at Langoa Barton.
In 1725, ex-pat Irishman Thomas Barton founded what was to become Barton & Guestier in Bordeaux. It was, however, his grandson, Hugh Barton, who cemented the family’s fortunes in Bordeaux. Under Hugh’s custodianship, the business thrived. Even while living in exile during the French Revolution, with loyal local partners assisting him, the business flourished. In 1821, he purchased Château Langoa and, in 1826, a portion of the Léoville estate, renaming it Château Léoville-Barton. Hugh’s great-great-grandson, Ronald Barton, was the first Barton since Hugh to live in France. From 1924 until 1940, leaving only during World War II, he ensured both properties flourished. He returned in 1945 and, with boundless optimism, managed to restore the estates to their former glory. Ronald Barton inherited the property in 1927. He in turn donated it to his nephew Anthony in 1983. Today the vineyards are jointly owned by Anthony Barton, his daughter Lilian Barton-Sartorius and her children Mélanie and Damien, thus making eight generations of Barton family at Léoville Barton. Traditional methods of wine making are maintained to produce a typical Saint-Julien of elegance and distinction.Winemaker Anthony Barton – owner/winemaker Melanie Barton – Assistant winemaker Vintage The year 2016 started off with the water tables full, thanks to the heavy rainfall from January to March. Three difficult months for the vineyard workers but which saved the day for this vintage! The mild temperatures in March ensured an early budburst but the colder, rainy mornings in April slowed down the growth cycle. From mid-June to mid-October, rainfall was well below the seasonal average. During the first two weeks of August, the colour change was short and even on each of the properties. The grapes developed in radiant, dry weather conditions. Light showers appeared in mid-September to re-boost the ripening process on the terroirs offering less water retention, thus perfecting the maturation of the tannins. The absolutely perfect weather conditions during harvest time allowed us to pick grapes boasting remarkable quality.