BORN IN BORDEAUX

SO LONG, TRENDY COCK­TAILS. OUR CITY’S BEST SIPS ARE STEEPED IN HIS­TORY.

Ocean Drive - - Contents - BY LAUREN EPSTEIN

So long, trendy cock­tails. Our city’s best sips are steeped in his­tory.

Just west of Bordeaux, in France’s Haut­mé­doc ap­pel­la­tion, the mag­nif­i­cent 18th-cen­tury Château Mag­nol— the heart of Bar­ton & Guestier—sits on al­most 75 acres of boun­ti­ful grape­grow­ing 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, 305-3636806; paris6.com.br), all across the city. Be­cause con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, Miamians aren’t just sip­ping sug­ar­soaked, um­brel­la­gar­nished 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.” bar­tonguestier.com

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