There are many wine producers in the world, but few have the history and prestige of Chateau Lafite Rothschild. This article will discuss five interesting facts about this iconic winery. From its origins in the late 18th century to its current status as one of the most sought-after wines in the world, Chateau Lafite Rothschild is a fascinating company with a rich history.
The name comes from the location of the vineyard
The name, Lafite, derives from the French word ‘fite’ meaning ‘hill’. This is in reference to the vineyard’s location on a hill overlooking the village of Pauillac.
The mound at the top of the appellation was where the first vineyards were planted and it was here that Lafite took its name.
The soil found at the top of this ‘fite’ is gravel based, providing excellent drainage and limiting the vigour of the vines. This topsoil also imparts a unique character to the wines from this site.
The Chateau has been in the hands of the Rothschild family for nearly 200 years
For nearly 200 years, Chateau Lafite Rothschild has been owned and operated by the same family. This is a rarity in the wine world, as most estates are sold or passed down through multiple generations.
The estate was originally planted in the 12th century and is one of the oldest wine estates in France.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild has a long and illustrious history, with some of the top wine critics in the world singing its praises. It’s no wonder that this estate consistently ranks as one of the most expensive wines in the world.
The estate is composed of three separate plots
While the oldest vines are located in the Pauillac appellation, the estate also has vineyards in Saint-Estèphe and Margaux. The wine from each of these appellations is unique and contributes to the overall character of Chateau Lafite Rothschild.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild produces around 26,000 cases of wine per year.
This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually quite small when you compare it to some of the other top estates in France.
The estate primarily produces three varieties of wine
Chateau Lafite Rothschild produces three different wines: a red wine, a white wine, and a rosé. The red wine is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc grapes. The white wine is made from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes. And the rosé is made from Grenache Noir, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre grapes.
The different grape varietals are blended together in order to create a well-rounded wine that has depth and complexity. Each vintage is different, so the final blend will be slightly tweaked each time in order to achieve the best results.
They make their own barrels
The barrels used in Chateau Lafite Rothschild are made at their own cooperage. All of the wood is sourced from France, and it’s all oak. The cooperage has been in operation since 1878, so they have a lot of experience when it comes to barrel-making.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild ages their wine for an average of 18 months. However, some wines are aged for up to three years before they’re released onto the market. This extended ageing process allows the flavours to marry together and creates a more complex end product.
There are many reasons why Chateau Lafite Rothschild is considered one of the top producers in the world, but these five facts provide a snapshot of its rich history and exceptional quality.