Champagne Classifications

13th January 2023

Champagne Classifications

In the Champagne Region, there are three classifications that help you identify an increase in quality, each of these classifications, from lowest to highest, is said to produce a finer quality of grape and each classification is more exclusive.

The highest form of Champagne is Grand Cru, followed by Premier Cru, then by Autre Cru, you can only label your Champagne as a certain type of Cru if it was produced in a certain area that has been determined to meet a higher quality standard.

There are only 17 villages that can produce Grand Cru Champagne and 43 villages that can produce Premier Cru Champagne.

The reason for these classifications is based on the terroir, including the quality of fruits, soil make-up, slope positioning, and other factors.

You won’t always find any mention of the word ‘Cru’ on a label, but that doesn’t mean that Champagne is any less enjoyable to drink.

When Was The Cru System Created?

In the 1920s, following threats of riots from vine growers who felt poorly treated and undervalued with the price given to their grapes far below what was deserved or required, this is what prompted the creation of the Échelle des Cru system, which means the Cru System Scale.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.