The name of this immensely ramified and highly influential family empire is inextricably linked to the European banking and economic history of the past 200 years. In viticulture, the Rothschilds are also owned by two of the most famous châteaux in the French area Médoc a term. These are the two wineries classified as "Premier Cru Classé" Château Lafite-Rothschild (French branch) and Château Mouton-Rothschild (English branch). Both through the very close relationship, as well as the proximity of two adjacent wineries, there are close ties and a common history for over 200 years. There has always been an open rivalry between the two, long before the Rothschild takeover (Mouton 1853 and Lafite 1868). The first reason for the conflict was the battle for a property called "Les Carruades", which is right on the border between the wineries. In 1845, a fierce dispute arose between the two winery managers, who then decided in favor of Château Lafite.
The second major reason for conflict was ten years later the famous one carried out in 1855 Bordeaux Classification in which Lafite was classified as Premier Cru and Mouton only as Deuxième Cru. Mouton did not want to accept this "shame" right from the start, and Lafite tasted the triumph. The third reason occurred in 1953. Elie Robert de Rothschild (1917-2007), as the owner of Lafite, initiated the expulsion of Mouton from the "Association of Five" (the then four Prime Ministers and Mouton) on the grounds that this was not a Premier Cru be. The effort to topple Mouton was backed by Lafite ni.cht, and even fiercely opposed. It is a joke that during the German occupation the two wineries were confiscated by the Vichy government in 1942 and led together.
On behalf of his father Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812) Jakob Mayer Rothschild (1792-1868) settled in Paris in 1812, where he changed his first name to James. Here he founded in 1817 the French bank branch. In 1822 he and his four brothers were granted the hereditary title "Baron" by Emperor Franz I (1768-1835) of Austria. In 1868 he bought the "Château Lafite" and added the surname "Rothschild". He probably never saw his possessions because he died that same year. His three sons Gustave, Edmond and Alphonse left the management to a manager and their children were only the annual balance show. Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) revived viticulture in Palestine in 1882 through a foundation of 60 million gold francs Israel ), but also hardly cared for the property in France.
His great-grandson Elie Robert de Rothschild (1917-2007) was active in the Second World War as an Allied soldier and was on his return leader in the bank. In addition, he converted the former railway company Paris-Lyon-Marseille into a travel group with hotels and restaurants. He took over in 1946 the direction of the Château Lafite-Rothschild and was the first person in the family to actively engage in the winemaking business. He always regarded Château Mouton-Rothschild as a hostile competition and disparagingly called it "this Deuxième Cru" as an allusion to the fact that the classification as Premier Grand Cru only took place in 1973.
In 1974, took over in the fifth generation, his nephew Eric de Rothschild (born 1940) the leadership....