Ch. Lafite Rothschild is one of the most famous wine estates in Bordeaux and the world. One of the Left Bank’s five First Growths, the Pauillac property is renowned for producing wines of finesse and elegance that age beautifully.
Ch. Lafite Rothschild sits at the far north of the appellation, bordering Saint-Estèphe and the vineyards of Cos d’Estournel with Ch. Mouton Rothschild to its south. It has a long history stretching back to the 13th. The name “Lafite” comes from the Gascon “la hite” which means hillock.
Jacques de Ségur is credited with planting the Lafite vineyard in the 1670s and ’80s. In 1695, Jacques de Ségur’s son, Alexandre, married Marie-Thérèse de Clauzel of Ch. Latour – linking the fortunes of these two prestigious estates for 100 years, until they were divided again in 1785. Thomas Jefferson – the third President of the United States – visited the estate and was a lifelong customer.
The Rothschilds arrived in 1868, when Baron James de Rothschild bought the estate – then classified as a First Growth (since 1855). It’s been suggested it was an act of one-upmanship, as his brother Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild owned the neighbouring Ch. Mouton Rothschild, which was – at the time – still a Second Growth (promoted in 1973). The property has been in the Rothschild family ever since.
The Rothschilds have expanded since, with several additions, including most notably: Ch. Duhart Milon (a Fourth Growth Pauillac estate) in 1962; Ch. Rieussec in Sauternes in 1984; a Chilean venture in the Colchagua Valley Viña Los Vascos in 1988; and Ch. l’Evangile in Pomerol in 1990.
Baron Eric de Rothschild inherited the estate in 1974 and is responsible for significant modernisation – replanting vineyards, reducing use of fertilisers and herbicides, introducing stainless steel, building a new barrel cellar and new winery.
Today the estate – along with the entire Domaines Barons de Rothschild stable – is run by Saskia de Rothschild, who took over from her father Baron Eric de Rothschild in 2018.
Approximately, 20,000 cases of the Grand Vin are made each year.