The logo of the Cru Bourgeois

A “Cru Bourgeois” is a type of Cru that is considered beneath the renowned and aristocratic “Cru Classés” of the Medoc region (Bordeaux, France). Indeed, in French the term ‘Bourgeois’ designate a social stratum below the Aristocratic class.

The properties are diverse in size, and the Cru Bourgeois wines likewise differ greatly in terms of quality. However, there have recently been some efforts to attempt to homogenize it.

Even though some of the top Cru Classés can show lower quality than the best Cru Bougeois, this category is known for having some of the best value for money in the Medoc.

Overview of the history of the Cru Bourgeois

Before being used formally in wine magazines, reviews, and critics, the word “Cru Bourgeois” was used informally and orally for centuries before its official creation in 1932. For example, this term appeared in Cocks & Féret wine magazine in the mid 19th century.

However, the lack of official recognition from the Ministry of Agriculture when its first classification was published has been the source of many troubles over time. It was recognized in 1979 by the EU and then in 2003 by the French administration (but was annulled in 2007).

As a result of this cancellation, the Crus Bourgeois returned to their unofficial status of 1932 and most of them are now represented by an association: the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois.
To join, members must apply certain viticultural practices that are stricter than those imposed by their respective AOCs. You must also be accepted by the other members of the association.

The selection is made based mainly on the quality of the Terroirs, winemaking techniques, quality control, reputation, and history.

From the 2018 vintage on, wine estates (called Châteaux in the Bordeaux area) are classified as one the three tiers of quality (from highest to lowest): Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel, Cru Bourgeois supérieur, Cru Bourgeois.

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