The Rieussec estate was originally owned by Carmelite monks, but after its confiscation during the French revolution it was sold into private ownership. During the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, Rieussec was awarded Premier Cru status.
Since 1984 Chateau Rieussec has been a part of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). New ownership coincided with more rigorous selection measures and renovation of the winemaking facilities and cellars; the surge in quality was first visible in the 1988 vintage.
The vineyard of Rieussac is one of the largest in Sauternes, covering 93 hectares, and planted to 90% Semillon, 7% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Muscadelle.