We’re here to help demystify Grand Cru vs. Premier Cru. Both signify high-quality wines from a specific region in France (and in fatcork’s case, we’re always talking about Champagne.) Burgundy is another region known for its crus, which were created over 1000 years ago by Benedictine monks.
From Riots to Crus
Crus are part of a percentile system called "échelle des crus," meaning ladder of growth.
As a reaction to the Champagne riots in 1911, this system was created and a price per kilo was set for each harvest. Villages were paid a percentage of that price depending on their quality classification. So the higher the rating of the village, the higher the price the growers were paid for the grapes. Growers in Grand Cru villages were paid 100% and so forth.
Give these crus a try!
Try a bottle of Petit Le Brun et Fils Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru
Or pop open a Stephane Regnault Lydien No. 29 Grand Cru
Celebrate every day with the Stéphane Regnault Blanc de Blanc Mixolydien Grand Cru
You can't go wrong with Pascal Redon Brut Rosé Premier Cru
This Jean Baillette-Prudhomme Cuvée Brut Réserve Premier Cru is a favorite
Take Crus with a grain of salt
Today, most drinkers agree that winemaking technique and style are more important than a cru, but it’s a great way to get in touch with a grower’s history. Under this system, the entire village has one cru, but farming practices vary widely. Getting to know your producers and tasting lots of wines is a better (and more fun way) to find your favorite Champagnes. We do love diving into the region's history.