The Rothschild Foundation is sad to announce the death of its Chairman, Lord Rothschild, businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and cultural leader, who made a profound difference to many areas of British life.

He led, amongst other institutions, the National Gallery, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the family’s flagship, Waddesdon Manor. He supported many causes, some close to his home in Buckinghamshire, others as far afield as Israel, Albania, Greece and the United States. He was committed to helping communities, the environment, education and above all, the arts. His exemplary service to his country was recognised on several occasions, with a GBE, a CVO and as a member of the Order of Merit.

Jacob Rothschild was an extraordinary person, and his loss will be felt by many. The family is committed to continuing his legacy and the foundation which he loved and endowed. His daughter Hannah assumes the role of Chair of the Rothschild Foundation.

We will all be inspired by his vision, ambition, and his commitment to excellence.

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Wine Cellars

The Wine Cellars at Waddesdon were created in 1994 to celebrate the association of the Rothschild family with some of the finest wines in the world for more than 100 years.

The Rothschilds and Bordeaux wine

Bordeaux was exporting its red wine as early as the 13th century. Large quantities were sent to England, where the wine was known as claret. By the early 1700s wines from single estates or vineyards were singled out as being some of the best.

For the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1855, 62 of the best Bordeaux wines were chosen from the several thousand produced in the region. These top wines were divided into five classes or growths (crus in French).

The tasting room in the Waddesdon Wine Cellars
The tasting room in the Waddesdon Wine Cellars

In first place, at the top of the top group, was the wine from Château Lafite.

Baron James de Rothschild (1792-1868) tried to buy Lafite for several decades and only managed to do so a few months before his death in 1868. As with his art collection, James wanted only the finest wine to serve at his table.

The estate of Mouton, also in Bordeaux, was bought by his English son-in-law in 1853. Mouton was classified as the first wine in the second group.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1922-1988) successfully contested the classification and managed to place Château Mouton Rothschild into the top group in 1973.

Inside the wine cellars

Waddesdon's Wine Cellars

The vaults at Waddesdon hold 15,000 bottles of historic wines, dating back to 1868. They are modelled on the private cellars at Château Lafite Rothschild and are the largest private collection of Rothschild wine in the world.

Over the years a collection of works of art related to wine has been assembled, such as the figure of Bacchus, god of wine, by John Cheere from about 1740.

Also on display in the cellars are some of the designs for Mouton Rothschild wine labels. Baron Philippe established the custom of inviting an important contemporary artist to design the label for each year’s Mouton vintage. In 2004, the artist was HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, to mark the centenary of the Entente Cordiale between the two nations.

You can visit the Wine Cellars as part of your grounds ticket admission to Waddesdon Manor. We also run daily talks when the house is open.

Label for the 2004 Mouton vintage designed by HRH Prince of Wales

Rothschild wines at Waddesdon

Bacchus, god of wine
Bacchus, god of wine