Unique in that it produces both red and white wines, Smith Haut Lafitte first came into being in the late 14th century, making it one of oldest vineyards in the Pessac-Léognan region’s commune of Martillac. Vines were first planted on the gravelly plateau called Lafitte as early as 1365 by the house of Verrier Du Boscq. Years later, Scotsman George Smith purchased the estate in 1720, lending it his name while building what is still referred to as the estate’s Manor House.
Fast forward to the 20th century when the 170-acre château came under the new ownership and direction of Daniel Cathiard, who immediately launched an investment program to upgrade the antiquated facilities and introduce organic and sustainable farming methods. His efforts transformed an operation not known for remarkable wines to one with a reputation for extraordinary quality and appeal, all within a mere ten years.
Most of the vineyard grows red grape varietals – 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc, with the remaining property dedicated to white varietals including Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris. The château’s Grand Vin, Château Smith Haut Lafitte, is annually produced in 10,000 cases of red and 2,500 cases in white, with a second wine, Les Hauts de Smith, produced in red, white and rosé versions. Another second wine, Le Petit Haut Lafitte, is becoming much more popular and accessible, and features a high red Cabernet influence.
Smith Haut Lafitte has mastered the art of balancing the old with the new. A true pioneer in innovative farming techniques and organic methodology, it has always been on the cutting edge of new ways to consistently improve its product.