While the first known reference to Lafite dates to 1234 with a certain Gombaud de Lafite, abbot of the Vertheuil Monastery north of Pauillac, Lafite’s mention as a medieval fief dates to the 14th century. There were probably already vineyards on the property at the time when the Ségur family organised the vineyard in the 17th century, and Lafite began to earn its reputation as a great winemaking estate. The vintage rankings of the Universal Paris Exposition in 1855 officially gave Lafite the rating as “Leader among fine wines”. On 8 August 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite. After the 1973-1976 mini-crisis that hit Bordeaux, the recovery was confirmed by the very fine 1975 and 1976 vintages and the management of Château Lafite Rothschild by Baron Eric de Rothschild. In the cellar, a stainless steel vat complex was installed alongside oak vats, and a new circular ageing cellar was constructed under the supervision of Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill. This new design style was acclaimed for its innovative character and uncompromising spirit, and can hold 2,200 barrels. In the same artistic spirit, in 1985 Baron Eric began a tradition of inviting fine-arts photographers to photograph Château Lafite. There was a remarkable series of vintages, helped by rather dry weather during the growth season. Among them, 2000, 2003 (the heat wave year), 2005, 2009 and 2010 will reveal their splendour with age! The turn of the century went smoothly with some very promising vintages ageing in the cellars. This cautious optimism is based on the ongoing search for excellence that is so much a part of Château Lafite Rothschild’s history.