WHAT DOES
PREMIER GRAND CRU CLASSÉ MEAN?

Château Latour, 1ste Cru Classé in Pauillac, Médoc

PREMIER = FIRST 


GRAND = BIG, ‘BEST’ 


CRU = CHÂTEAU, IN BORDEAUX!

IN BOURGOGNE, CRU IS A VINEYARD.

Premier Grand Cru is the highest quality designation for a winery (château) according to a classification drawn up in 1855 in Bordeaux. It has 61 wines and is divided into 5 classes. Premier Cru is the top and consists of 5 chateaus. 


This classification is not, as in other areas, based on the excellent properties of the vineyard, but on the reputation that the château then had. Those wines for which the highest prices were paid in the years before 1855 were given a place in this hall of fame. Since that time, nothing has changed in the classification, except for 1 change; in 1973,

Château Mouton-Rothschild van 2de Grand Cru Classé was promoted from 2nd Grand Cru Classé to 1st Grand Cru Classé.

Since 1855, the quality of the 61 wines has of course changed. Some got better, others diminished in quality. Although great (financial) value is attached to the classification worldwide, it is wise to look at wines with a grand-cru designation with a critical eye. Bordeaux has even more classifications, more about that in SDEN level 3.