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DBR Lafite CEO Jean-Guillaume Prats to step down

Domaines Barons de Rothschild, owner of first growth Château Lafite, has confirmed that CEO and president Jean-Guillaume Prats is to step down.

Jean-Guillaume Prats is set to leave the business around four years after being appointed CEO and president of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR Lafite).

A DBR Lafite spokesperson said Prats would leave before the end of the year, in order to ‘devote himself to his family business and to consulting’.

Group chairwoman Saskia de Rothschild will take over the executive management of DBR Lafite as of December.

Prats’ arrival at DBR Lafite was announced in November 2017 as part of a leadership handover. He replaced long-standing CEO and president Christophe Salin.

At the same time, it was announced that Saskia de Rothschild would fully take the reins from her father, Baron Eric de Rothschild, who had been group chairman for more than 30 years.

Saskia de Rothschild said this week, ‘For four years, Jean-Guillaume Prats has helped breathe new life into all of our estates and we are extremely grateful to him.’

She added, ‘A family-led management close to our vineyards and to the men and women who work with us is in-line with the sustainable development we wish for our domaines; striving to meet the social and environmental challenges of tomorrow and to continue to produce magical wines.’

Prats said, ‘I have humbly and with passion, over the past four years, brought dynamism to DBR, new projects with teams that I have had the privilege of leading to support this vision of tomorrow.

‘Saskia de Rothschild will very naturally take over the executive management of the châteaux and estates of the family.’

Before joining DBR Lafite, Prats headed up the Estates & Wines division of LVMH for several years. He has also spent a significant proportion of his career at Château Cos d’Estournel, the Bordeaux 1855 second growth situated in St-Estèphe and close to Pauillac-based Lafite.

Alongside Château Lafite Rothschild, DBR Lafite’s other Bordeaux estates include fellow Pauillac property Château Duhart-Milon, Château Rieussec in Sauternes and Château L’Evangile in Pomerol. The group’s non-Bordeaux interests include the Bodega Caro joint-venture with Argentina’s Catena winemaking family, as well as Domaine de Long Dai in China.

Château Rieussec recently announced a bold new look, including a new ‘durable bottle’, as part of efforts to refresh the image of Sauternes and also emphasise the estate’s focus on sustainability.

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