International consolidation and development strategy
Keen to ensure the perpetuation of precious savoir-faire, Baron Edmond and then Baron Benjamin de Rothschild invested in a variety of entrepreneurial businesses, in parallel with the Group’s financial activities. Staring with the Domaine du Mont d’Arbois wine estate, these businesses were progressively diversified and a remodelled management team is now in place to promote their international development.
Fresh momentum for Farming Company products
Unable to find the Brie de Meaux taste that he knew as a child, Baron Edmond de Rothschild decided in the early 1990s to produce his own cheese. This was how the farming business began at the Domaine des Trente Arpents, 40 km to the East of Paris.
Over the years, the farm spread out across the family estate, with the aim of devolving the entire supply-chain for producing an exceptional brie, starting with the fodder for the dairy cows, right through to the maturing and commercialisation of the cheese. The estate expanded its business, modernised its production processes, renovated its buildings and strengthened its teams. Remaining faithful to its original innovation philosophy, it also adopted sustainable development policies involving environmentally-responsible agricultural practices and using organic fertilisers.
The gamble paid off: today the Benjamin and Edmond de Rothschild Farming Company is the only producer that makes officially-labelled Farmstead Brie de Meaux. Annual production of 1.6 million litres of milk enables the production of a range of nine cheeses, with new varieties such as Winter Black Truffle Brie, Meaux Mustard Brie and Nepal Pepper Brie.
Upon the launch of Edmond de Rothschild Héritage, farm production shall be rapidly complemented with other speciality grocery products: terrines made to a recipe by Julien Gatillon (Head Chef at the Michelin two-star restaurant Le 1920 in Mont d’Arbois), honey exclusively from the family hives and olive oil from the Fredericksburg family estate in South Africa.
To promote its development, The Farming Company is also bolstering its list of retailers, including the Grande Epicerie du Bon Marché and Galeries Gourmandes du Palais des Congrès, as well as forty or so other delicatessens in France, Switzerland and Spain.
1,600hectares of farmland and FOResT
1.6million LITres of milk per year
300varieties of rare plants
Wine-making savoir-faire from the four corners of the world
The family wine-making history began in 1868 with the purchase of the highly prestigious Château Lafite domain in Pauillac by James de Rothschild, which was then shared between cousins.
James’ great-grandson, Baron Edmond, in turn dreamed of developing a vineyard. Rather than buying an existing producer, he decided to give free reign to his passion and start from scratch. He fulfilled his dream in 1973 with the acquisition of two adjacent estates – Château Clarke and Château Malmaison.
This was an audacious choice, as the land had been abandoned and the Château destroyed, meaning that everything had to be entirely rebuilt. However, today the estate covers two hundred hectares and is the second-largest vineyard in the Médoc region in terms of its land area.
Later on, Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild oversaw the modernisation of the equipment and extended the estate. Meanwhile, the Compagnie Vinicole Edmond de Rothschild expanded much further afield, beginning with South Africa as the first stage of its internationalisation. In association with the Rupert family, Rupert & Rothschild Wines was set up in 1997. On the slopes of Mount Simonsberg, the Fredericksburg estate, a former 17th century Huguenot farm, produces a world-famous wine.
Over 15,000 kilometres away from Bordeaux, in the narrow Uco valley in Argentina, a second international foothold was established in partnership with Laurent Dassault. The Flechas de los Andes estate overlooks a hundred hectares of vines producing the famous vintages. Rimapere, in New Zealand, and more recently Macán, in Spain, have completed the discovery of new lands.
Throughout the various properties, our team of wine specialists have been seeking to meet the quality requirements imposed by Benjamin and Ariane de Rothschild since 1997. Eric Boissonot, our reputed Médoc wine specialist, is in charge of wine-making, grape varieties and blending, while our soil and wine cultivation specialist David Pernet oversees the ecologically-responsible production of the best grapes.
"Since I was appointed, I have gathered together experienced specialists to continually improve the quality of our vintages. Our aim is to deploy the savoir-faire, developed in the Médoc, across all of our vineyards worldwide."
In keeping with the ambitious choices which have guided its history, Compagnie Vinicole selects only the best vintages to carry the Edmond de Rothschild Héritage label. According to Boris Bréau “We wish to focus our range of wines around our best vintages, which each embody in their own way the wine-making excellence and the savoir-faire of our origins”. International sales are also continuing to expand, with 90% of production already exported towards North America, Europe and also Russia, Africa and Central & South America.
500hectares of VINES across 5 estates
3,5million bottles of wine per year
The latest stage in the long history linking the Rothschild family with Megève
The third major business under the Edmond de Rothschild Héritage brand is the Domaine du Mont d’Arbois gastronomic hotel in Megève. This story also symbolises the entrepreneurial courage demonstrated by the Edmond de Rothschild family and Group.
During the 1920s, Baroness Noémie de Rothschild, the mother of Baron Edmond, revealed the touristic potential of Megève. Tired of Saint Moritz, in Switzerland, she imagined developing a new ski resort in France. Following advice from her ski instructor, she discovered Megève and its wonderful panoramic scenery.
She turned it into a secluded holiday resort, by creating the Domaine du Mont d’Arbois. The first golf course, the first ski-lifts and the airstrip were progressively constructed thanks to the dynamism of Baroness Noémie de Rothschild, without whom Megève’s destiny would certainly not have been the same.
From one generation to the next, the Domaine developed and modernised its infrastructures, respecting traditional regional architectural styles. The latest development will be the opening of a new luxury hotel, decorated personally by Ariane de Rothschild, in December 2017. The hotel will be managed by the leading luxury hotel management group, Four Seasons, along with the five-star Le Chalet du Mont d’Arbois hotel and the five family restaurants including the Michelin two-star Le 1920 and the Spa and the Golf.
Under the impetus of this unique brand and the remodelled management, 2017 marks a fresh horizon for all of the Edmond de Rothschild Héritage business lines, guided by a courageous long-term strategy in the pursuit of excellence, which is the hallmark of the Group.