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The large and widely ramified family took part in Bordeaux wine trade a leading position for a century and a half. German Hermann Cruse, born in Schleswig-Holstein in 1790, founded in 1819 in Bordeaux a branch. He became rich when in 1848 he bought over 120,000 hectoliters of wine (13,650 tonneaux à 900 l) from 13 châteaux-cru sites in the Médoc for the German market. The family subsequently acquired or inherited some (including Cru Classé) wineries. For example, these were Château Laujac (Bas-Médoc) in 1850, 1865 Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac, sold again in 1975) and Château Giscours (Labarde-Margaux) and 1903 Château Rauzan-Ségla (Margaux, sold again in 1956). A real empire developed, the individual parts were managed by different family members. In 1974, due to unclean methods (cheap table wine was bought and resold as AC Bordeaux, involving a total of five companies), there was a sensational process with heavy fines. The company never recovered from this blow and was absorbed into a group in 1979. The bought in 1945 Château d'Issan Margaux remained in family ownership and is managed by Lionel Cruse.

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