Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) sows winemaking legacy in Shandong
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In the 1700s, King Louis XV of France favoured one particular wine so much that people began calling it "the king's wine". In 1855, the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification had already ranked Lafite at the top of the First Growths. The château was acquired by the Rothschild family in 1868 and, since then, five generations have followed one another at the head of the château.
Christophe Salin, president and CEO of the DBR (Lafite) group, has strongly contributed to its international development. Based on the expertise acquired throughout generations of wine growers, the objective has been to take advantage of this know-how to produce high-quality wines outside the Bordeaux region. "We have been planting grapes in Bordeaux for nearly 150 years, extending the estate's centuries-old winemaking tradition," Salin says.
These are long-term strategies that imply how local terroir specificities match Lafite's wine-growing practices.
Driven by excellence, DBR (Lafite) has expanded through today to cover 1,200 hectares of vineyards. After purchasing into nearby estates in Bordeaux, the company ventured into Chile, Argentina and Languedoc. These acquisitions have broadened the company's premium wine collections, fusing its winemaking legacy with the distinct features of the newly acquired vineyards.
Such pioneering spirit finally reached China in 2008. DBR (Lafite) collaborates with state-owned investment company CITIC to cultivate a vineyard in Shandong. Earliest records of winemaking actually trace back to the mainland, including Shandong. Endowed with a rich, sloping terrain and a climate well-suited for winemaking, the eastern Chinese province and DBR (Lafite) are bound to create new vintages for the local demand.
"We are looking forward to commercialising our first vintage. The first crops have been very encouraging, but we still need time to offer the Chinese people the high-quality wine they deserve," Salin says