Anthony Barton was born at Straffan House in Co. Kildare (Ireland) in 1930. He was destined to inherit little or nothing of the family estates. His elder brother Christopher was heir to Straffan and the vineyards in France were owned by his Uncle Ronald who would normally have married and had his own children to whom he would naturally have left his property. Although Ronald did marry late in life he had no children and Anthony thus became his heir.
After studies in Ireland and in England, Anthony came to settle in France in 1951. Once again there were difficulties within the wine trade ; the war had meant many years when exports to traditional markets had come to a complete stop and the lack of demand resulted in such low prices that Langoa and Léoville Barton were running at a loss. The first vintage that Anthony witnessed was 1951, so awful that his Uncle Ronald told him “another vintage like this and I will have to sell” - not a very encouraging start to his new life! Fortunately there were two good years to follow but even so prices remained below a profitable level for some time to come.
The affairs of B&G were better but not brilliant. In 1954 Seagram took a 50% interest in the business and a few years later became majority share-holders. Anthony continued to work as export director until 1967 when he left to start his own firm “Les Vins Fins Anthony Barton”. Although he kept in touch with the activities of the vineyards he was busy creating his new venture and did not take a truly active part at the Châteaux until 1983 when Ronald donated the property to him. Since 1986, Anthony Barton has lived in the château with his wife, Eva, native of Copenhagen.