Wine is often thought of as a simple beverage to be enjoyed with a meal or as an accompaniment to a good conversation. However, there is much more to wine than most people think.
For starters, wine is made from grapes, and there are many different types of grapes, each with its flavour profile. In addition, the way the grapes are grown, harvested, and processed can affect the final flavour of the wine. And, of course, the climate in which the grapes are grown also plays a role.
All of these factors combine to create a huge variety of wines, each with its unique flavour. And that’s not even considering the many different styles of wine, from light and fruity whites to rich and full-bodied reds.
However, a whole other side to wine involves luxury, investment, and so much more. Today, let’s take a deep dive into that world.
Grand Cru Wine
A Grand Cru Wine is a wine that has been designated as being of exceptional quality. The term is most commonly used in France as part of the official wine classification system. A Grand Cru wine must be produced in a specified vineyard or cru, and the grapes must be grown according to certain regulations. The wine must also meet certain standards in terms of taste and aroma.
There are several levels of quality in the French classification system, with Grand Cru wines being the highest quality. To be classified as a Grand Cru wine, a wine must first be classified as a premier cru wine. Premier cru wines are produced in specific vineyards or crus and meet certain standards regarding taste and aroma.
Grand Cru wines are often more expensive than other wines, as they are of a higher quality. They are also usually more limited in production, as the grapes used to make them are grown in specific conditions.
If you are looking for a wine of exceptional quality, then a Grand Cru wine is a good option. These wines are produced in specific vineyards and are subject to strict regulations. They are also often more expensive than other wines, but this is because they are of a higher quality.
Grand Cru Wine vs Premier Cru Wine
When it comes to wine, there are different levels of quality that are determined by a number of factors. Two of the most common terms you’ll see when discussing wine quality are “Grand Cru” and “Premier Cru.” But what exactly do these terms mean?
Grand Cru wine is made from grapes from the best vineyards in a specific region. “Grand Cru” means “great growth” in French. To be classified as a Grand Cru vineyard, the vineyard must be officially recognised by the government of the wine-producing country.
Premier Cru wine is also made from high-quality grapes, but the vineyards are not as prestigious as those that produce Grand Cru wine. The term “Premier Cru” means “first growth” in French. The government of the wine-producing country typically classifies Premier Cru vineyards, but the classification is not as stringent as it is for Grand Cru vineyards.
So, what’s the difference between Grand Cru and Premier Cru wine? The main difference is the quality of the grapes. Grand Cru grapes are the best, while Premier Cru grapes are simply high-quality. This difference is reflected in the price of the wine, with Grand Cru wine being more expensive than Premier Cru.
If you’re looking for the best wine, go for a Grand Cru. If you’re looking for a high-quality wine that’s more affordable, go for a Premier Cru.
The History of Grand Cru Wine
The classification of Grand Cru wines began in the Burgundy region of France in the Middle Ages. The Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Bold, commissioned a study to find the best vineyards in the region. The study was conducted by a monk named Hugh de Villars and was completed in 1395.
The de Villars study identified four highest-quality vineyards: Clos de Vougeot, Romanée-Conti, Chambertin, and Musigny. These four vineyards became known as the “first growths”, and their wines were the first Grand Cru wines.
Since then, the classification of Grand Cru wines has evolved and expanded. In 1855, the Bordeaux region of France classified its wines into five categories, or “growths”. The first growths were Châteaux Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion, and Mouton Rothschild.
In the 20th century, other regions of France, such as the Rhône Valley and Champagne, began classifying their wines as Grand Cru. And in 1973, the European Union established a quality control and labelling system for wine, which included the classification of Grand Cru wines.
Today, there are hundreds of Grand Cru wines produced all over the world. They are typically made from the highest quality grapes and are aged for longer periods than other wines. As a result, they are often more expensive than other wines.
If you’re looking to try a Grand Cru wine, there are many options. But be prepared to pay a premium price for these prestigious wines.
How to Achieve Grand Cru Status By Region
To truly understand wine, one must first understand the land from whence it came. The concept of terroir—the unique combination of climate, soil, and topography that gives a wine its distinctive character—is at the heart of what makes each wine region so special. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of Grand Cru wines.
In order to achieve Grand Cru status, a wine must be produced in a specific vineyard that has been classified as such by the relevant regional authority. For example, Burgundy has only 33 Grand Cru vineyards. These vineyards are classified according to a strict hierarchy, with the best sites classified as Grand Cru Premier Cru.
In Bordeaux, meanwhile, there are around 5,000 châteaux producing wine, but only around 60 of these have been classified as Grand Cru Classé. The classification system here is much more detailed, with wines being graded according to the specific vineyard in which they were produced.
Champagne, too, has a specific classification system for its Grand Cru vineyards. There are just 17 these vineyards located in specific villages that have been determined to have the ideal combination of climate and soil for producing high-quality Champagne.
Finally, in Alsace, there are just over 51 Grand Cru vineyards. These vineyards are classified according to the specific grape variety that is grown in them, with Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris being the most common.
What it Takes to Have a Grand Cru Status
In short, it takes a combination of exceptional terroir and a classification system to identify and reward the best sites. But more than anything, it takes a dedication to producing the highest quality wines possible.
If you’re interested in buying wine for investment, we can help you. Cru Wine offers fine wine with a modern approach. Wine is a passion and a huge source of enjoyment. Our goal is to make it easier to buy wine. At the same time, we wish to provide you with a more enriched experience. Download our fine wine investment brochure today to learn more!