Based in Bordeaux since the early 18th century, the Johnston family is one of the great names in Bordeaux wine history.
In 1734, William Johnston, of Scottish descent, created the firm of "Nathaniel Johnston & Fils" in Bordeaux. This company was initially involved with shipping goods on a commission basis, but bought cellars and began ageing "New French Claret" a few decades later.
However, it was not until the 19th century that the Maison Johnston underwent major expansion. By 1804, the cellars extended over 15,000 m2 and were able to hold 25,000 barrels and 2 million bottles of wine! In 1840, Nathaniel Johnston & Fils became part owners of Château Latour. They acquired Château Ducru-Beaucaillou and Château Dauzac in 1865.
During the Second Empire, Nathaniel Johnston & Fils shipped wines to England, North & South America, Canada and imperial Russia. Export figures reached a record high of 1 million pounds sterling in 1876.
The onset of phylloxera and mildew heralded the beginning of a long period of recession tainted by economic crises and wars. This led to the collapse of prices and markets.
It was not until the early 1950s that a lasting recovery took place. The business has not looked back since, thanks to Nathaniel’s hard work, perseverance, the arrival of his sons Archibald (1968), Denis (1974) and Ivanhoé (1997), and the support of loyal clients and owners.
They have since taken over from their father, and were joined by the 10th generation, with Laure (Denis’ daughter) and Thomas (Archibald’s son).
Almost three centuries after the company was founded, these two generations continue to embody the family's passion for fine wine. They are still in pursuit of the same goals: to sell and promote quality wines to major importers all over the world, as well as to large companies and faithful private customers in France.