Rothschilds and wine

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

The Rothschilds first entered the world of wine in 1853 when Baron Nathaniel (1812–70), grandson of Mayer Amschel and a member of the English branch of the family, bought Brane Mouton and renamed it Ch mouton rothschild. This was common practice among more important château owners. It was a buyer’s market in Bordeaux vineyards then devastated by oidium, or powdery mildew, and the Rothschild purchase was viewed more as a property transaction than as the acquisition of a distinguished vineyard. When the important 1855 classification placed Ch Mouton Rothschild top of the second growths, however, the Rothschilds were particularly exercised by what they regarded as its unfairly low placing.