Château Lafite Rothschild
The vineyard of Château Lafite Rothschild consists of three main areas: The slopes around the Château, the Carruades plateau to the west and a 4.5 hectare site in Saint-Estèphe. Its area is 112 hectares. The soil consists of fine, deeply ground mixed with windblown sand on a well-drained and well-incorporated tertiary limestone subsoil. The grape varieties grown here are Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Here the first stones were laid, the winegrowers' houses were built and prepared for something unusual to happen. As the years passed, the house overlooking this hill got bigger and a wisteria vine climbed the walls of generations of families to see how preserving this ecosystem has always been the ultimate priority. 150 years ago, Baroness Betty, wife of Baron James, planted the huge oak trees that separate our vineyard from the marshes. They, their children and grandchildren, the families of winegrowers die with them, work conscientiously to protect this impeccable creation that has been bequeathed to nature. They have taken great care to preserve this microcosm of forests and marshes, flora and fauna amidst the vines of Château Lafite Rothschild thrive in this almost wild osmosis.
As the ultimate witness to this protected land, some of the vines still gracefully show off their 140 years of ungrafted life. They escaped the phylloxera which, however, spared no one else! This infallible part of the vines continues to elude the winegrowers, the same ones who form, protect and nurture it, from one harvest year to the next, trying to refine this perfect composition that amazes them time and time again. It may not be a coincidence, of course, that Lafite earned the title of "First of the First" at Napoleon III's World's Fair. Nor will it be a coincidence, if others will speak of it long after us… Each barrel is tasted individually and only the best is selected for the final blend. After blending, the wine matures for 15 months in new oak barrels. Fermentation takes place for 15 days at a controlled temperature of 18°C. Only vines older than 10 years are used for the Grand Vin Château Lafite Rothschild. While each vintage is unique, there is usually a large portion of Cabernet Sauvignon, then Merlot, with a small contribution of Petit Verdot.