There are two Bartons in St Julien, Château Léoville-Barton and Château Langoa-Barton, and it is quite right to suppose that the two are related. Both are owned by the Barton family, and have been for nearly two centuries, the longest period of single-family ownership of any cru classé château in Bordeaux. In fact, of the two, it is Château Langoa-Barton to which this accolade should be accorded; this estate having been purchased by Hugh Barton in 1821; it was only during the ensuing five years that Hugh acquired vineyards from the dissolved Léoville estate, stitching together his acquisitions to create Château Léoville-Barton.
Today the two châteaux have come to the latest generation of the Barton family, control passing in recent years from the elder statesman of the appellation, Anthony Barton, to his daughter, Lilian Barton-Sartorius. The family now also have an interest outside St Julien, with the acquisition of Château Mauvesin in Moulis, now rechristened Château Mauvesin-Barton of course, in 2011. Nevertheless, I feel sure that this family will always remain true to their St Julien roots, and to Château Langoa-Barton (pictured below).
This profile examines the story of this estate, beginning with its ancient origins and continuing through to these modern-day proprietors. Because the estate has been in the same ownership as Château Léoville-Barton, however, much of this profile (about two centuries of it in fact) may already feel familiar. Readers who have already spent too long studying my profile of this other Barton estate might want to jump forward to read of the approach to viticulture and winemaking at Château Langoa-Barton today, on page four of this profile.