Bordeaux Legend Anthony Barton Dies at 91

Anthony Barton with his daughter Lilian

© Peter Moser

Anthony Barton with his daughter Lilian

Anthony Barton with his daughter Lilian

© Peter Moser

Anthony Barton was regarded as one of Bordeaux’s most high profile ambassadors but hailed originally from Kildare County, Ireland.

He moved to Bordeaux in 1951, where the post-war period was a difficult one for the estates Châteaux Léoville-Barton and its neighbour Langoa-Barton, owned by his uncle Ronald. According to the company's website, Anthony's first harvest was so catastrophic that Ronald told him, ''Another harvest like this and I will have to sell.''

Anthony Barton worked at the family business Barton & Guestier and continued as export director until 1967 after Seagram became its majority shareholder. He then founded his own merchant company, Les Vins Fins Anthony Barton.

He owned and ran the Léoville-Barton and Langoa-Barton wineries for more than 20 years and reportedly won the respect of the international wine trade when he refused to increase his opening prices in 1997.

"Tremendously good fun"

The chair of fine wine merchants Goedhuis & Co, Johnny Goedhuis, was among those to pay tribute, saying in an Instagram post that he heard the news of Anthony Barton's passing with great sadness.

"He was one of the first people I met when I was dispatched to Bordeaux in the early 70s as a callow youth," he said, praising the wonderful wines of Châteaux Langoa and Leoville Barton.

"Anthony had so many qualities: hugely charming, interested in everything and everybody, an amazing host, all combined with being tremendously good fun. That large dollop of Irish blood, of which he was immensely proud, made him a great raconteur and all of us who were lucky enough to know him will today be remembering some of his finest stories."

He is survived by his wife Eva. His daughter Lilian Barton now runs the wine properties and family merchant company with her husband, Michel Sartorius, their two children Mélanie and Damien are also involved.

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