Smith Haut Lafitte has been producing wine since 1365. The estate was purchased by George Smith in the 18th century. He built the present-day château and added his name. Smith Haut Lafitte changed hands between 1942 and 1958 and was eventually purchased in 1990 by Florence and Daniel Cathiard. They immediately set about renovating and modernizing the winery and the château. This took two years of intensive work.
The 56 hectare vineyard is located on a Günzian gravel rise. This provides excellent natural drainage, obliges the roots to sink to a depth of over 6 meters in order to find nourishment, and results in low yields and wines of character. The gravelly soil absorbs the sun's rays and stores heat in the daytime that is released at night for optimum ripening.
Smith Haut Lafitte uses biological pest control and as few pesticides and fungicides as possible. Such practices, as well as the use of compost, keep the soil "alive". In the same natural vein, only small wooden fermentation vats are used, and the wine is aged on the lees in barrel.
The grapes are entirely hand picked and put into small crates to keep them from being prematurely crushed or bruised. The grapes are sorted a first time during picking and then a second time just prior to destemming in order to eliminate any matter other than grapes and to retain only the ripest, healthiest fruit.
Smith Haut Lafitte has its own cooperage that supplies half its needs in new oak barrels. Both modern and expressive, the wines de Smith Haut Lafitte are much appreciated by wine lovers around the world.
The estate produces approximately 30,000 bottles a year of a very refined dry white wine that is among the best in Bordeaux.
Red Smith Haut Lafitte has been improving steadily over the past few years.
Château Smith Haut Lafitte has consistently made one of the finest wines in the Pessac-Léognan appellation since 2002. While certain vintages from the 90s had perhaps seen too much new oak, which overshadowed the fruit, more recent vintages show a return to more natural finesse. 2004, 2005 and 2006 Smith Haut Lafitte richly deserve their fine reputation and exemplify this estate's progression.
Smith Haut Lafitte white and red, Les Hauts de Smith red et white (second wine)