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Grand Cru

The French term means "large 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 between individuals vintages possible quality fluctuations a certain soil type and the one there climate (Small climate) are of constant and determining quality. The cru classés are in addition to those valid in France Appellation d'Origine Protégée to understand and characterize the top qualities. However, the term has different meanings in the individual wine-growing regions. He can refer to a location, a community, or a Chateau (Winery) or refer to the wine produced there. In Bordeaux, the interests of the Grands Crus wineries are represented by the association UGCB (Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux) perceived.

Grand Cru - labels from Château Margaux, Château de Lescours, Cos s’Estournel, Château Haut-Brion


Beaujolais : There are ten municipalities with cru status here. In contrast to the four-stage model in the rest of Burgundy, there are only three stages (no grands crus).

Bordeaux : Here is Grand Cru for the property of a winery (château), or the one produced here Grand Vin used (so does not apply to one second wine ). Location and chateau are put on an equal footing, so to speak. The rules in the appellations are very different and confusing. It was famous in 1855 Bordeaux Classification, which still has a certain meaning today.

Burgundy : Here Grand Cru (in contrast to Bordeaux) denotes a location, which is based on an official classification of all vineyards of the Cote 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 municipalities, locations and wineries is under Burgundy classification described.

chablis : There are seven particularly privileged locations here, which are part of the Burgundy classification form the highest classified Grand Cru class.

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

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

Graves : In 1953 and 1959 a classification for red and white wines with the single level Cru Classé des Graves took place. The châteaux in question are all in the appellation Pessac-Léognan, the northern part of Graves.

Languedoc : A three-stage quality system was introduced here in 2011 with the levels Languedoc AOC, Grands Vins du Languedoc and Crus du Languedoc. This grouping is purely for marketing reasons, depending on the quality, the two higher groups have all Languedoc appellations assigned to them.

Médoc : Here was part of the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification created a five-tier system from Premier Cru to Cinquième Cru, with Château Haut-Brion (Graves) being the only property outside the Médoc. The 61 goods are known as Grands Crus Classés.

Pomerol : Surprisingly, there is no classification system in this outstanding appellation, which has no reason to fear comparison with the best in Bordeaux.

Rhone : There are 16 appellations that can be called cru, which makes them a top appellation (but there is no further gradation, such as in Burgundy). In a broader sense, they are part of the appellation Cotes du Rhone, therefore the label also states "Cru des Côtes du Rhône".

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

Sauterne : There is no class called Grand Cru. The three levels established in 1855 are Premier Cru Classé Supérieur (the only winery Château d'Yquem ), Premieur Cru Classé and Deuxième Cru Classé.

other countries

Outside of France, the term Grand Cru or equivalent names for locations and / or wines are also used:

Germany : Here are changed / expanded from the 2012 vintage VDP classification model the locations or wines are classified in the descending order of large location (wine = large plant), first location, local wine and estate wine. See also under history Prussian location classification,

Italy : Here are special areas within a DOC / DOCG zone as Vigna Described with mostly even stricter wine regulations regarding alcohol content. Vigna plus location name (vineyard name) appears on the label. in the Piedmont the terms for special locations Bricco or Sori used. The term used in many DOC names Colli (Hill) indicates an exposed hillside with strong Tilt out.

Austria : There is traditionally a pronounced layer or Ried Culture, but not an official classification system. Individual groups like that Styrian terroir and classic wineries. Traditional wineries Austria and WienWein strive for it. The designation of origin introduced in 2002 DAC corresponds to the French appellation.

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

Spain : In 2003 the term was used for special locations Vino de Pago introduced.

New world : The situation generally does not play a significant role here. In individual US States but a layer culture is emerging. See also under Generic,

Additional information

See also on the subject of wine quality origin. classification and especially quality system, There is a comprehensive list of all area names under the keyword vineyards, All necessary tools as well as work and measures in the vineyard during the growth cycle can be found under the keyword Weingarten Care, Complete lists of the numerous cellar techniques, as well as a list of the types of wine, sparkling wine and distillate regulated by wine are below winemaking contain. There is extensive wine law information under the keyword wine law,

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