Brand profile: Barton & Guestier
Barton & Guestier has had a long-term commitment to sustainability, but is increasing its focus on the subject, aiming to reduce its carbon footprint, and obtaining environmental certifications for its brands.
French winemaking group Barton & Guestier is stepping up its commitment to sustainability. The move comes after chief winemaker Laurent Prada told the drinks business last year: “Climate change is the biggest challenge we’re facing.”
The French winemaking group, which produces AOC and varietal wines from France’s main wine-growing regions, including Bordeaux, the Loire, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley, Languedoc, Provence, and Gascony, has upped its commitment to sustainability.
As Philippe Marion, deputy general manager, explains: “2021 marked our official engagement in the corporate social responsibility process – with Afnor certification for the moment, and B Corp to follow.
“This incorporates the principles of the UN Global Compact, with health and environmental protection as priorities, but there is much more to it.”
He continues: “As an almost 300-year-old company, it is our responsibility to take care of the planet for future generations, and even if we have been taking care in the past, now is the time to formally write our processes, identify where we can improve, and finalise our strategy and goals for the years to come.”
This long-term commitment to sustainability started in 1979, when the company bought its flagship estate Château Magnol, located alongside the Nature Reserve of Bruges, along the Garonne River in Bordeaux.
Today the estate, which is run as an organic vineyard, is certified High Environmental Value, and ISO 14001 with the Environmental Management System for Bordeaux wines, with some of the wine brands certified with sustainable winegrowing certifications including HEV, Vignerons Engagés, and certified organic.
The focus for the future is boosting sustainability further, while tapping into new consumer trends, Marion adds.
“Our strategy for the coming years is to optimise our global movement in favour of the environment, with two major goals: obtaining the necessary environmental certifications for all our brands; and reducing our overall carbon footprint by responsible product development and purchasing.”
As part of this, the team is involved in responsible product development, favouring lightweight bottles, recycled paper for labels and vegetable ink dyes, as well as carton outer shippers.
“But we are going further now with the development of 250ml aluminium bottles weighing between 30g and 40g when empty and recyclable,” Marion explains.
Two new wines will be launched in this format. The first is a B&G Nectarose, a super-premium sparkling rosé that is vegan and alcohol-free, without any added sugar, preservatives or sulphites.
“This new glamorous, elegant and refreshingly sparkling rosé targets all who are looking to moderate their alcohol intake but still want to celebrate life,” Marion says.
The second, from Patriarche, is a Veuve du Vernay Ice Rosé, the company’s best-selling sparkling rosé (Charmat Method) that will also be available in the 250 ml aluminium bottles.