Baron Philippe de Rothschild
The late Baron Philippe de Rothschild was a member of the Rothschild banking dynasty. His interest in wine began at the outbreak of WW1 when as a 12 year old boy he was sent to live in safety at the family's vineyard in the Médoc. This is where he developed a love of the wine business, which had been an enterprise in the family since 1853, but one in which his father and grandfather had shown little interest. In 1922, the 20 year old Philippe, took over the operations at Château Mouton Rothschild, and worked tirelessly to make it the behemoth it is today. The Mouton vineyard was rated as a "Second Growth" as a result of the Bordeaux wine classification of 1855, and Baron Philippe began a lifelong mission to change this judgment. In 1973, Château Mouton Rothschild became the only French vineyard to ever achieve reclassification to first growth, thanks to decades of relentless lobbying. Other projects followed. In the USA's Napa Valley a joint venture in 1978 with the legendary Robert Mondavi created the ultra-premium Opus One. In Chile, in collaboration with Concha Y Toro, the exceptional Almaviva was launched in 1998. Also in Chile the creation of Escudo Roja, which means “Red Shield” in Spanish [the name Rothschild comes from the German 'rote Schild' – or “Red Shield”]. There is also an estate in the Languedoc region of France near Limoux; Domaine de Baronarques, which make wines of great complexity from Bordeaux and Mediterranean grape varieties, and under the Cadet D'Oc label expressive varietal wines are produced. Baron Phillipe was a younger son, a little brother – this is what the translation of Cadet means. The business is still family owned and run, now led by Phillipe Sereys de Rothschild, who carries on the legacy of this fabled house.