So long, trendy cocktails. Our city's best sips are steeped in history.
Just west of Bordeaux, in France’s Haut-Médoc appellation, the magnificent 18th-century Château Magnol—the heart of Barton & Guestier—sits on almost 75 acres of bountiful grape-growing vines. “It’s the oldest wine merchant in France,” says Hubert Surville, the chief operating officer of Barton & Guestier. A wine connoisseur in every sense of the word, Surville has worked in the business for 35 years and has been COO of the house for 15. “Very few brands, very few houses, have been able to sustain 300 years of exposure,” he says.
Indeed, it seems hard to imagine how a wine merchant founded in France in 1725 could still be relevant—and thriving—in over 130 countries around the world today. But with an endorsement from none other than Thomas Jefferson, who, after a visit to Bordeaux in 1787, included Barton & Guestier in a list of “vintage wines of the finest quality,” it’s evident that these bottles are special. The secret? A wine-making process that has remained relatively unchanged. “The quality of the wine comes from investment in the quality of the barrels, the grapes, the terroir… and attention to detail when you bottle [it],” says Surville.
Fast forward and jet to present-day Miami, and the brand is popping up in upscale wine shops and restaurants, like the chic Paris 6 (2200 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-363- 6806), all across the city. Because contrary to popular belief, Miamians aren’t just sipping sugar-soaked, umbrella-garnished cocktails. “Florida is the second state in terms of consumption of wine in the US, just after California,” says Surville. “It shows the attention in Miami Beach for health-conscious lifestyles.”