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Grand Cru

The French term means "big plant", usually refers to Wine (but also on other foods like beer. coffee and chocolate ) and is closely related to the French philosophy of terroirs, That means that regardless of the between individual vintages possible quality variations a certain soil type and the local climate (Microclimate) are of consistent and determining quality. The Cru Classés are in addition to valid in France Appellation d'Origine Protégée to understand and mark the top qualities. However, the term has different meaning in the individual wine regions. He can focus on a situation, a community or a Chateau (Winery) or refer to the wine produced there. In Bordeaux, the interests of Grands Crus wineries are represented by the association UGCB (Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux).

Grand Cru - Labels from Château Margaux, Château de Lescours, Cos s'Estournel, Château Haut-Brion


Beaujolais Here are ten communities with cru status. In contrast to the four-stage model in the rest of Burgundy, there are only three levels (no Grands Crus).

Bordeaux : Here is Grand Cru for the property of a winery (Château), or the produced here Grand Vin used (does not apply to one) second wine ). The situation and the château are, so to speak, equated with each other. The rules are very different and confusing in the appellations. It is famous in 1855 Bordeaux Classification that still has some significance today.

Burgundy Here Grand Cru (in contrast to the Bordeaux) designates a location, referring to an official classification of all the vineyards in 1935 Côte d'Or declining. All Grands Crus are classified as their own appellation. The second highest level Premier Cru but is only part of a municipal appellation. The quality pyramid with all communities, locations and wineries is under Burgundy classification described.

chablis There are seven privileged locations in this area Burgundy classification form the highest ranked Grand Cru class.

Champagne : Here, individual communities are classified as Grand Cru, Premier Cru or a "nameless" third tier according to the quality of the grapes; see in detail under Échelle des crus, In terms of wine law, however, these are not appellations (AOC / AOP).

Alsace : Here are the 51 layers in the AC Alsace Grand Cru classified.

Graves : Here in the years 1953 and 1959 was a classification for red and white wines with the single stage Cru Classé des Graves. The respective châteaux are all in the appellation Pessac-Léognan, the northern area of Graves.

Languedoc : Here, in 2011, a three-stage quality system was introduced with the levels Languedoc AOC, Grands Vins du Languedoc and Crus du Languedoc. However, this grouping has purely marketing reasons, the two higher groups have been assigned depending on the quality of all Languedoc appellations.

Médoc : Here was made in the 1855 famous Bordeaux Classification created a five-stage system from Premier Cru to Cinquième Cru, with the only outside of Médoc estate is also Château Haut-Brion (Graves) is included. The 61 estates are called Grands Crus Classés.

Pomerol In this outstanding appellation, which has no comparison with the best in Bordeaux, there is, surprisingly, no classification system.

Rhone : There are 16 appellations, which may call themselves Cru, with which they are considered as Spitzenappellation (but there is no further gradation, such as in Burgundy). In a broader sense, they are part of the appellation Côtes du Rhône, that is why the label in addition to the appellation "Cru of the Côtes du Rhône" is mentioned.

Saint-Emilion : Here in 1955 a classification for wines or wineries was introduced, which is updated regularly. There are four quality levels: Premier Grand Cru Class A, Premier Grand Cru Class B, Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru.

Sauterne : There is no class called Grand Cru. The three stages set in 1855 are Premier Cru Classé Supérieur (as the only winery Château d'Yquem ), Prem Class Cru Classé and Deuxième Cru Classé.

other countries

Outside France, too, the term Grand Cru or analogous names for layers and / or wines are used:

Germany : Here are changed according to the from 2012 onwards / extended VDP classification model the vineyards or wines classified in the descending order Grosse Lage (wine = large greenhouse), Erste Lage, Ortswein and Gutswein. See regarding history also under Prussian layer classification,

Italy : Here are special areas within a DOC / DOCG zone as Vigna referred to with mostly stricter wine legislation on alcohol content. On the label appears Vigna plus the name of the vineyard. in the Piedmont are for special situations, among other things, the terms Bricco or Sori used. The term used in many DOC names Colli (Hill) indicates an exposed one hillside with strong Tilt out.

Austria : There is traditionally a distinct layer or Ried Culture but no official classification system. Individual groups like the Styrian terroir and classic wineries. Traditionsweingüter Austria and WienWein make an effort. The Denomination of Origin introduced in 2002 DAC corresponds to the French appellation.

Switzerland : Here Grand Cru is the highest classification level of locations. The standards per region depend on grape varieties and terroir. Grands Crus exists in the regions Vaud with for example calamine and Dézaley; such as German Switzerland. Wallis and Ticino,

Spain : Here was 2003 for special situations the term Vino de Pago introduced.

New world : Here the situation usually does not play a significant role. In individual US States but is a layer culture in the making. See also below Generic,

Additional information

See also wine quality under ancestry. classification and especially quality system, A comprehensive list of all area names can be found under the keyword vineyards, All necessary aids as well as work and measures in the vineyard during the growth cycle can be found under the keyword Weingarten Care, Complete listings of the numerous cellar techniques, as well as a list of wine regulated, sparkling wine and distillate types are under winemaking contain. Comprehensive information on wine law is available under the keyword wine law,

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