The French term means "Großes Gewächs", usually refers to wine (but also to other foods such as beer, coffee and chocolate) and is closely related to the French philosophy of terroir. This means that regardless of the variations in quality that can occur between vintages, a particular soil type and the climate there (microclimate) are of consistent and determining quality. The Cru Classés are to be understood in addition to the Appellation d'Origine Protégée valid in France and identify the top qualities. However, the term has different meanings in different wine-growing regions. It can refer to a site, a commune or a château (vineyard) or to the wine produced there. In Bordeaux, the interests of the Grands Crus wineries are represented by the UGCB (Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux).
The glossary is a monumental achievement and one of the most important contributions to wine knowledge. Of all the encyclopaedias I use on the subject of wine, it is by far the most important. That was the case ten years ago and it hasn't changed since.Andreas Essl