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Premier Cru (first Growth)

The “Premier Cru,” or “First Growth,” designation refers to the select wineries in Bordeaux, France, included in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The quality classification was ordered by Emperor Napoleon III and quickly carried out by the country’s wine brokers.

Premier Cru is a tier below Grand Cru wines but still considered to be high quality. There are only five First Growth wineries in Bordeaux making red wine: Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion and Château Mouton-Rothschild. All but one of these hails from the Médoc region (Château Haut-Brion is in Graves).

Quick Facts

  • As esteemed as Premier Cru/First Growth wines are, they are not always estate wines (the grapes aren’t always sourced from a single vineyard)
  • These wines are among the most expensive in the world—even futures (purchases of the wine before its aged, bottled and released) can run $1,000 a bottle
  • President Thomas Jefferson was a huge fan of Premier Cru/First Growth wines and even traveled to Bordeaux to taste them

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