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The large and widely branched family took in the Bordeaux wine trade for one and a half centuries a leading position. Born in 1790 in Schleswig-Holstein German Hermann Cruse founded in 1819 in Bordeaux a branch. He became rich when, in 1848, he bought over 120,000 hectoliters of wine (13,650 tons á 900 l) from 13 Châteaux Cru sites in the Médoc for the German market. As a result, the family acquired or inherited some (including Cru Classé) wineries. For example, in 1850 these were Château Laujac (Bas-Médoc), 1865 Château Pontet-Canet (Pauillac, 1975 again sold) and Château Giscours (Labarde-Margaux) and 1903 Château Rauzan-Ségla (Margaux, sold again in 1956). It developed a true empire, the individual parts were directed 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 high-fines process. From this blow, the company did not recover and went in 1979 in a group. The 1945 bought Château d'Issan Margaux remained family owned and run by Lionel Cruse.

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