Château Lafite Rothschild
The quintessential Pauillac terroir
In 1868, James de Rothschild, a wine-loving banker living in Paris, bought the Château Lafite in Pauillac and founded the French branch of the Rothschilds. His nephew had acquired Mouton Rothschild 15 years prior. The vineyard at the time amounted to 74 hectares and was very successful. But after the castle endured some hard times, from the late 19th century until after the Second World War, mainly because of grapevine diseases and wars.
The Bordeaux estate was restored by the Baron Elie de Rothschild. In 1962, he acquired Duhart-Milon. In 1974, Eric de Rothschild decided to inject some new life into the winery and modernized it. In 1987, a circular underground cellar was designed for all the second year wines. The Baron also oversaw the Domaines Baron de Rothschild, which include nine estates (six in Bordeaux).
The vineyard of 112 hectares is exposed to the south-west and divided into three zones: the hills around the castle, plateau Carruades and some plots near Saint-Estèphe. The vineyard lies on gravel soil mixed with fine sand and limestone. The vineyard is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The estate produces a second wine "The Carruades Lafite" since the 1980s.
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