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Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith Haut Lafitte is a top estate located on a hilltop in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, Bordeaux.

History

Château Smith Haut Lafitte dates back to 1365, when the noble house of Bosq chose to run a vineyard in this terroir. In the 18th century, Scotsman George Smith bought the estate, renamed it and built the Chartreuse. He also exported the already famous barrels to England on his ships.

In 1842, Mr. Duffour-Dubergier, mayor of Bordeaux and passionate winegrower, inherited Château Smith Haut Lafitte from his mother and turned it into a Grand Cru. At the beginning of the century, the House of Louis Eschenauer realized the exceptional quality of this wine and ensured its distribution, finally buying the property in 1958. Since then, major investments have been made to the winery, including the construction of a superb underground cellar that can raise more than 1,000 barrels at the same time.

In 1990, Daniel Cathiard fell in love with the vineyard and joined its prestigious line of owners. Cathiard’s intention was to continue enhancing the value of this noble cru. His constant search for excellence led him to harmoniously handle the most modern winemaking techniques with traditional methods: living soil, organic compost, a return to small oak vats, ageing on lees in barrels, and more.

Terroir

Château Smith Haut Lafitte is located on a hilltop in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, Bordeaux. The estate has 67 hectares of vines. The soil is covered with “Gunziennes” graves, which offer two astonishing particularities: a natural drainage of the soil that forces the roots of the vines to fetch water and mineral salts at a depth of 6 meters, and a “mirror effect” of the sun, which, by reflecting on the pebbles composing the graves, helps the grapes to ripen and blossom.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte does their utmost to respect nature and biodiversity, both in the vineyard and cellar. They plant vines propagated from their own vineyards thanks to their vine nursery on Ile de Lalande. This island protected ecosystem enables them to maintain the vine’s genetic diversity, as well as the complexity of their wines. The grape varieties are 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

The estate does all they can to enhance microbial life by using their own organic compost. They also protect the soil by planting hedges and trees, and installing beehives on the estate. In addition, horse-drawn carts are used to plough the white wine vineyard’s fragile slopes. Maintaining wooded areas and hedges not only embellishes the countryside, but also enhances the harmony they constantly seek with nature: “winegrowers are landscape architects”.

The great particularity of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, beyond its fabulous wines, lies in its commitment to the preservation of the ecosystem and the biodiversity of the vineyard. In addition to state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly growing and winemaking techniques (organic homemade compost, implantation of hedges, forest, beehives, horse vine work, drones, or the Normalized Difference Vegetive Index (NDVI) which allows the detection of row heterogeneities…), Château Smith Haut Lafitte works according to the circular economy model. The property limits the consumption and waste of raw materials and non-renewable energy resources, transforms waste into recycled raw materials, and reflects on the eco-design of its products. The stealthy wine storehouse is a perfect example of this. This new investment is completely blind to environmental radars and must produce its own energy, without emitting CO2.

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