Grand cru

A grand cru (French for "great growth") is a regional wine classification that designates a vineyard known for its favorable reputation in producing wine. It is not a classification of wine quality per se, but rather the potential of the site or terroir. It is the highest level of classification of AOC wines from Burgundy or Alsace. The same term is used in Saint-Émilion, but there it refers to a differing level of classification. In Saint-Émilion the highest level of classification is premier grand cru, followed by grand cru. In Burgundy the level following Grand cru is known as premier cru. J. Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" Third Edition pg 321 Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0198609906 ]

History in Burgundy

Early Burgundian wine history is distinctly marked by the work of the Cistercian monks with the Church being the principal vineyard owner for most of the Middle Ages. Receiving land and vineyards as tithes, endowments and as exchanges for indulgences the monks were able to studiously observe the quality of wines from individual plots and over time began to isolate those areas that would consistently produce wine of similar aroma, body, color and vigor and designate them as "crus". H. Johnson "Vintage: The Story of Wine" pg 131 Simon and Schuster 1989 ISBN 0671687026 ]

Following the success of the 1855 Bordeaux classification, Jules Lavalle developed an informal classification of vineyards of the Côte d'Or in his book "History and Statistics of the Côte d'Or". In 1861 Lavalle's classification was formalized by the Beaune Committee of Agriculture. J. Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" Third Edition pg 175 Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0198609906 ] The designation of Grand cru and Premier cru was later developed and expanded on in the 1930s with the creation of the "Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée" (or AOC) system. J. Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" Third Edition pg 115 Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0198609906 ]

Other uses

This term is often also used in craft beer production, especially in Belgium and France. As one example, the Hoegaarden Brewery in Belgium produces a beer called Hoegaarden Grand Cru, an example of the use of the term outside winemaking. Also, Lindemans Brewery makes Cuvee Rene, a Gueuze Lambic Beer, with Grand Cru on the label. In Europe, the term is traditionally used to designate the finest beer that a brewery produces. In the United States, the term grand cru does not necessarily have this connotation, and is most commonly given to beers that are Belgian-style, such as Grand Cru from the AleSmith Brewing Company or Sixpoint Craft Ales.

ee also

* Premier Cru


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  • Grand Cru — 〈[grã: kry:] m.; , s s [grã kry:s]〉 edler frz. Wein [frz.] * * * Grand Cru   [grã kry], in Frankreich Qualitätsbezeichnung für hochwertige Weine, Cru …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Grand Cru — [grã kry] der; , s s <aus fr. grand cru »edler Wein«> franz. Bez. für Weinlagen besonderer Qualität …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Grand Cru — 〈[grã: kry:] m.; Gen.: , Pl.: s s [grã: kry:s]〉 edler frz. Wein [Etym.: frz.] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • Grand Cru — Die Bezeichnung Grand Cru (franz., wörtlich „großes Gewächs“) bezieht sich in der Regel auf Wein, wird aber auch für Schokolade und Kaffee sowie ferner für einige Biersorten verwendet. Die verschiedenen Weinbaugebiete Frankreichs definieren Grand …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • grand cru — ˌgran(d)ˈkrü, ˌgräⁿ(d)ˈ , ˈkru̅e̅ noun Etymology: French, literally, great production (of something grown) more at cru : a wine of the highest rank or reputation within its appellation * * * Fr. /grddahonn krddyuu /, pl. Grands Crus Fr.… …   Useful english dictionary

  • grand cru — [grɒgrand cru kru:] noun (plural grands crus pronunciation same) a wine of the most superior grade. Compare with premier cru. Origin Fr., lit. great growth …   English new terms dictionary

  • Grand Cru — Fr. /grddahonn krddyuu /, pl. Grands Crus Fr. /grddahonn krddyuu /. French. See under cru. * * * …   Universalium

  • Grand Cru —    (granh KRÜ) [French: great growth] In France, a classification given by the government to a vineyard producing high quality wine …   Dictionary of foreign words and phrases

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