The name Lafite comes from the Gascon language term “la hite”, which means “hillock”. There were probably already vineyards on the property from the 17th century, and Lafite began to earn its reputation as a great winemaking estate. There are strict control of yields, manual harvests, and numerous tasks that are carried out by hand all through the year. Little or no chemical fertilizers are used, and careful use of organic fertilizers allow the vines to reach an advanced age, they are generally pulled out (with a heavy heart) when they reach 80 years old.
The vineyard consists of three main areas: the hillsides around the Château, the adjacent Carruades plateau to the west, and 4.5 hectares in neighbouring Saint Estèphe. The vineyard covers 112 hectares and is well-drained and well-exposed, with soil made up of fine deep gravel, mixed with aeolian sand on a subsoil of tertiary limestone. It is well-drained and well-exposed to the sun.