Denomination (stepping stone of the plants) for the classification of vineyards in the French wine-growing region of Champagne. In contrast to the Bordeaux or Burgundy classification, this does not apply to specific vineyards or sites, but to municipalities. This means that all vineyards located there are classified. It all began in the 18th century, when individual sites were ranked according to quality in order to determine the price of grapes. Allegedly the distance of the vineyard from the press house was the original criterion for the decision. The shorter the distance from the grape harvest to the press, the fresher the grapes and thus the higher the classification. At the beginning of the 20th century, the champagne houses exerted great pressure on the many small grape suppliers due to oversupply. In this context, the commissioned purchasers also used questionable practices, including intimidation and bribery, to achieve low prices. At that time, between 50 and 100% was evaluated and only 12 municipalities were awarded the Grand Cru status with 100%.