The Rothschild family acquired Château Duhart-Milon, a “4er Cru” in the 1855 classification, from the Castejas of Pauillac, in 1962. The property was named after the Sieur of Duhart, gun-runner to Louis XIV, who originally owned the property, and from the name of the little hamlet of Milon which separates the Duhart-Milon vineyard from that of Château Lafite. The vineyard covers 188 acres and is planted with the classical cépages of Médoc: Cabernet Sauvignon (67%) and Merlot (33%). The property has been managed since 1962 by a single team that, due to the proximity of the two properties, oversees both Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Duhart-Milon. Both Châteaux use the same traditional techniques based on strict control of yields, harvesting by hand, and numerous manual tasks throughout the year.
In the early 18th century, Pauillac began widespread grape cultivation at the urging of the Lafite lords. The Milon wines served as additional income for Lafite’s master, and became Château Lafite’s second wine. The 1855 classification recognized the quality of Duhart-Milon’s soil by ranking it as the only 4th growth wine in Pauillac. Between 1830 and 1840, the Castéja family was left an inheritance by both Mandavy and the Duhart widow (35 acres). The family thus possessed a 99 acre vineyard that was named Duhart- Milon. The property changed ownership many times over the years and suffered a decline in the quality of its’ wines. The property was named after the Sieur of Duhart, gun-runner to Louis XIV, who originally owned the property, and from the name of the little hamlet of Milon which separates the Duhart-Milon vineyard from Château Lafite.
In 1962, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) acquired the property from the Castéja family. Since the acquisition by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) the vineyards have been totally overhauled and the chais renovated. A finishing touch to a remarkable 40 year effort to reclaim the Médoc 4th growth wine ranking for Château Duhart-Milon.
The vineyard covers 175 acres on the western side of Château Lafite Rothschild, on the Milon hillside and is planted with the classical cépages of Médoc: Cabernet Sauvignon (69%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Merlot (28%). The soil is fine gravel mixed with aeolian sands on a tertiary limestone bedrock. The average age of the vineyards is 28 years.
Eric Kohler began his career as an oenologist. In 1994, he became Deputy Technical Manager for Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite) estates in the Bordeaux area. In this role, he was responsible for quality, development, selection and implementation of the most efficient cultivation practices at the vineyard. He was also responsible for overseeing the wine-making process, improving ageing techniques and modernizing the facilities at Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Duhart-Milon and Château Rieussec.
In 2004, Eric was appointed as Director of Domaine d’Aussières in the South of France (Languedoc) to carry out the revival of the estate, pushing it to the highest rank and setting a new standard for wines from the South of France. In 2008, he became Technical Director for the DBR estates located outside of Bordeaux: Domaine d’Aussières, Viña Los Vascos (Chile), Bodegas CARO (Argentina), and Domain of Penglai (China). In 2016, he became Technical Director of Bordeaux Châteaux within the group Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), the Rothschild family company owner of Château Lafite Rothschild (First Grand Cru Classé in Pauillac), Château Duhart-Milon (Grand Cru Classé in Pauillac), Château Rieussec (First Grand Cru Classé in Sauternes), Château L’Évangile (Pomerol) in the Bordeaux region, and Viña Los Vascos (Chile, 1988), Domaine d’Aussières (Languedoc, 1999), Bodegas CARO (Argentina, 1999) and the Estate in Penglai (China).
In early 2020, Eric Kohler, took on a new role as Technical Director focusing on Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Duhart-Milon. As both properties continue their transition to organic operations, it is more important than ever that their technical leadership is able to dedicate a greater attention to detail and meticulous management daily.