Château Lafite-Rothschild is a Premier Cru Classé Pauillac, consistently responsible for producing some of the world's finest red wines over the last two centuries. The first known reference toLafite dates to 1234, when it was owned by Gombaud de Lafite, abbot of the Vertheuil Monastery to the north of Pauillac. The name Lafite comes from the Gascon “la hite”, which means “hillock”. The Ségur family owned the vineyard in the 17th century, with Jacques de Ségur credited with planting the vineyard in the 1670s and 80s. In 1695, Jacques de Ségur’s heir, Alexandre, married the heiress of Château Latour, who gave birth to Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur.
Lafite established its reputation in London in the 1700s. Amongst its followers was Robert Walpole, who purchased a barrel every three months. Subsequently, its reputation grew in France, particularly at the court of Versailles. This was largely due to the efforts of Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur, who became known as 'the wine prince', with Lafite itself becoming known as 'the king's wine'. Famously, Thomas Jefferson also became a loyal customer during his stint as US ambassador to France.
Now owned by Domaines Baron Rothschild, Lafite's technical director is Eric Kohler. From 2021, Lafite are introducing more bio-diversity to the estate, pulling up 3 ha of vines to allow for more hedgerows and margins. Not an insubstantial commitment, when you consider that the land price is circa €2 million per hectare!