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Lillet Est. 1872

Est. 1872
1972 : Maison fondée
Native of Saint-Morillon in Gironde, Jean Lillet moved to Podensac, a small village of the Graves wine region, near Sauternes, in 1680.
In 1872, his descendants Raymond and Paul Lillet, fine wines, liquors and spirits merchants, funded Maison Lillet. They created the first and only aperitif from Bordeaux, the Lillet (called Kina Lillet until the 1970s), a blend of wines and fruit macerations crafted in Podensac cellars.
1920's and 30's
1972 : Maison fondée
In the 20s and 30s, Lillet was served on very special occasions and at official receptions, soon becoming the aperitif in vogue all over the world. In 1937, Lillet’s first major advertising campaign was designed for the American market. The campaign by French artist Robert Wolff, better known as Roby’s, remains famous in the USA and France to this day.
1940's and 50's
1972 : Maison fondée
After the Second World War, the small family-run company decided to focus on exporting the brand to the US market. Lillet became the star drink of every trendy New York bar. The Anglo-Saxon market really took off in 1945 with the launch of Lillet Dry, which could be mixed with gin or served in cocktails and inspired the famous Vesper.
1960's and 70's
1972 : Maison fondée
In 1962, it was Pierre Lillet who expanded the range by adding Lillet Rouge, a stronger, ruby coloured alternative to its white counterpart, which appealed to Lillet fans and red wine lovers alike. In 1972 came the 1961 vintage “Lillet Vieux”. The brand was already called “Lillet” in the USA for customs reasons and Kina Lillet officially became Lillet worldwide.
1980's and 90's
1972 : Maison fondée
The Lillet brand acquired a new lease of life on the French market in 1985 with the organisation of numerous tasting sessions in Bordeaux and Paris and a more modern and sophisticated design for the bottle. In 1995, Lillet won the gold medal at the International Wine Competition, confirming its quality once again. In 1999, Lillet became one of the 100 top-selling brands in France.
The 2000's
1972 : Maison fondée
The 21st century has seen Lillet go from strength to strength, with ever more countries discovering the brand. Connoisseurs and mixologists ensure that Lillet features in all top cocktail bars around the world, leading to the launch of Lillet Rosé in 2011, which immediately won the Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge.



Podensac, a small village south of Bordeaux, is the birthplace of Lillet aperitif, a subtle blend of rigorously selected wines and fruit macerations crafted on site.

6 Months: the time it takes for Lillet to be ready for market

6 Steps in the production process

Bouteille Lillet
Séléction des vins

Step 01

Selecting the wines

Our cellar master rigorously selects the wines used for Lillet, based on their qualities and organoleptic complexity.

Séléction des vins

Step 02

Selecting the fruits and peels

Sweet oranges from Turkey, Spain or Morocco, bitter oranges from Haiti, quinine from South America… Every year, we carefully select the best fruits, fruit peels and barks for their freshness and aromatic richness.

Séléction des vins

Step 03

Fruits maceration

Following preparation methods perpetuated since the 19th century, fruits and peels start separately their slow cold maceration in alcohol. After a few weeks, once the key ingredients have been extracted, we proceed with drawing-off and fruit pressing. This phase has a big role in Lillet’s aromatic richness.

Séléction des vins

Step 04

Creating Lillet

Once ready, fruit macerations are mixed with the wine: this phase is called “vinage” (fortification). Once stirred until complete homogenisation, each cuvée is then aged with the greatest care by our cellar master.

Séléction des vins

Step 05


Lillet Blanc and Lillet Rouge cuvées spend several months in oak barrels allowing the aromas to mellow and its unique characteristic taste to mature.
Nevertheless, Lillet Rosé is bottled directly in order to keep its freshness and lightness, giving place to a great aromatic finesse.

Séléction des vins

Step 06

Blending of Lillet Blanc and Lillet Rouge cuvées

After several months in oak barrels, all cuvées are selected for their aromatic qualities and degree of maturity, and blended to produce Lillet’s characteristic smoothness. This is what gives Lillet its fruity, candied notes and rich, balanced and lively flavour.

Guided tour

Welcome to Podensac !

Travel back through one hundred years of history in the old distillery,
and discover how this unique recipe is made.
Exemple vidéo

Don’t miss the tour

How to visit:
- Visits by appointment
- Groups: maximum 50 people
- Languages: French / English
- The boutique is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 01/03 to 31/12
from 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 6pm.
Tel: +33 5 56 27 41 41 / Fax : +33 5 56 27 41 44
Email :

Discover the Lillet Range
Excessive alcohol consumption causes health risks. Drink in moderation.