Château Lafite Rothschild is one of only five classified first growths and thus the designation as 1st er Cru Classé. The vintage rankings of the Universal Paris Exposition in 1855 officially gave Lafite the rating as “Leader among fine wines.” The vineyard covers 264 acres and is divided into three separate areas: the hilly ground close to the Château, the plateau of the Carruades and a plot in the commune of Saint Estèphe (special permission was granted to incorporate these wines into the Pauillac appellation). The soil is composed of fine gravel mixed with aeolian sand and planted with four classic Médoc grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The average age of the vines is 35 years but those that produce the Grand Vin selection are 45 years or older. The oldest plot, “La Gravière”, was planted in 1886. In August 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite and it has remained in the family for five generations. The property is currently run by Baron Eric de Rothschild.
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