CHATEAU SMITH HAUT LAFITTE
With 55 hectares of gravelly vineyards, Smith Haut Lafitte is thought by many to be the quintessential Graves estate. The estate's history goes back to its founding in 1365, with subsequent owners including 18th century Scottish navigator, George Smith, who became the owner of and gave his name to the estate. In the 19th century, M. Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux, and then Louis Eschenauer, a famous negociant, each owned the property.
In 1990, former Olympic skier Daniel Cathiard and his wife Florence purchased this beautiful estate from Eschenauer and have since greatly improved the chateau’s facilities. Among other improvements, they restored the 16th century tower, renovated the 18th century manor house, built two underground cellars, returned to traditional vine growing methods without chemical herbicides and set up their own cooperage. In addition, the proportion of new oak barrels used in the maturation process was increased and a trio of eminent oenologists (including Michel Rolland) were hired as consultants. These improvements have transformed the estate from being a perennial underachiever to being one of the leading estates in Graves.
The 55 hectares of vineyards are located on a gravel ridge to the east of Château Haut-Bailly. The red wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon(55%), Merlot (35%) and Cabernet Franc (10%) and the grapes are fermented in stainless steel vats. The wine is then matured in oak barrels (50% new) for 15-18 months. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.