Named among the only four first-growth châteaux in Bordeaux with Premier Cru/first-growth status (based on the Bordeaux Classification in 1855), Château Lafite Rothschild dates back to the 17th century as a winemaking estate.
In 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased the winery but died three months later. However, his three sons continued to run the winery and produced wines that remained the world’s most expensive until that record was exceeded towards the end of the 20th century.
In 1974, Eric de Rothschild took over the winery, succeeding his uncle. Even today the wines continue to be among the most expensive in the world and the best vintages are 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, and 2010.
In 2012, a case of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild fetched $42,350 at auction. Just two years earlier, three bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild’s 1869 vintage commanded $230,000 each at auction, succeeding the previous record for the most expensive bottle of wine, set in 1985 when Malcolm Forbes paid $168,000 for a bottle of 1787 Château Lafite Rothschild thought to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson.
- King Louis XV was a huge fan of Château Lafite Rothschild’s wines during the 18th century
- Château Lafite Rothschild wines are extremely popular with the wealthy in China, and either drinking it or owning a bottle is seen as a sign of status
- Lafite means “small hill”