The name from this famous château probably has been derived from the Gascon word “La Hite”, which means hillock. But there is also a reference, dating back to 1234, which mentions Gombaud de Lafite, abbot of the Vertheuil Monastery north of Pauillac.
In the 18th century the wine became famous as “The King’s Wine” when it got the high approval of Louis XV. Lafite was awarded First Growth status in the 1855 Classification, together with Château Latour, Château Margaux and Château Haut Brion. This classification, which still exists, was based on the quality and especially prices of that time.
Lafite demanded the highest price and was therefore placed on top of the list. In 1868, Baron James de Rothschild bought Château Lafite. This was the moment that the name changed to Lafite-Rothschild.
Unfortunately, the baron died 3 months after he purchased the state but as a homage, the 1868 vintage received the highest price on the market and it remained a record for the entire 19th century.
The end of the 19th century (phylloxera and mildew crisis) and the beginning of the 20th century (mildew and the Great Depression) were difficult times for Château Lafite-Rothschild. Furthermore, World War 2 saw an occupation by the Germans, who plundered the cellar filled with ancient vintages. But from 1945 on, Château Lafite-Rotschild established itself again as one of the leading châteaux of Bordeaux.
Currently, the vineyard covers 112 Ha and consists of three different plots. The grape varieties used are: Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The average age of the vines is almost 40 years old. They also produce a second wine called “Carruades de Lafite”. Legendary vintages from the past include: 1847, 1848, 1870, 1899, 1900, 1928, 1929, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1959, 1961, 1982, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016 and more recent the 2018 vintage.Read more