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Cru Artisan

Classifications of wineries(Châteaux) or wines in Bordeaux already took place in the 18th century. Today there are five systems; the most famous dates back to 1855, but only wines from the left bank(Rive gauche) of the Gironde were taken into account, including the Médoc, Graves and Sauternes areas. Of course, excellent wines also grow on the right bank(Rive droite), such as Fronsac, Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. The classification, which is more than a century and a half old, applies regardless of the quality of the wines, which certainly varies from year to year. Up to now, there has been only one change, as an absolute exception, in which Château Mouton-Rothschild rose from second to first place. It is still of great importance and is therefore used by the wineries for marketing purposes, with the rank being indicated on the label.

Bordeaux-Klassifizierung - Systeme bzw. Logos

The remaining four systems for other Bordeaux areas (which, as mentioned above, were not even considered in 1855) were only introduced much later. The cru classes are different in the designation and in the number of quality levels, which is quite confusing compared to the uniform Burgundy classification that is valid for all appellations. There have been repeated attempts at standardisation. One suggestion came from Alexis Lichine (1913-1989), but in the end it was not realised.

  • Médoc for red wines with five levels - 1855
  • Sauternes and Barsac for white wines with three levels - 1855
  • Cru Bourgeois (Médoc) with one step - from the 1920s, recognised by EC 1976
  • Cru Artisan (Médoc) with one stage - 1989, recognized by EU 1994
  • Graves for red and white wines with one step - 1953 and 1959 respectively
  • Saint-Émilion with two steps - 1955

The Cru Bourgeois and Cru Artisan one-tier systems apply to Médoc vineyards not classified as Grands Crus and rank behind the Grands Crus of 1855. The classification, which has already been changed several times, is repeated periodically (see below). For Graves, a single-level classification was created in 1953 and supplemented in 1959, which distinguishes between red and white wines (all the estates are in the Pessac-Léognan area). For Saint-Émilion, a two-tier system was introduced in 1955, the classification being linked to the sites (vineyards). It is periodically reviewed, and wineries must apply for it. In the Fronsac and Pomerol areas, as an exception in Bordeaux, there is no classification

The UGCB (Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux) represents the most important Bordeaux growing regions, represents the interests of independent winegrowers and acts as a marketing platform, especially for international customers. In addition to the UGCB, there are other regional associations with similar objectives, namely the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc, the Classement des Vins de Graves and the Classements des Vins de Saint-Émilion.

The classification of 1855

Kaiser Napoleon III From 15 May to 15 November 1855, under the aegis of Napoleon III. (1808-1873) the world exhibition took place in Paris. The most important exhibition site had been temporarily built between the Champs-Élysées and the Seine. The monarch commissioned the Chamber of Commerce of Bordeaux (Gironde), in preparation for this event, to draw up "a...

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