Until the middle of the 17th century, vineyard names to emphasise particular wine quality or origin were rather unknown or not common in Germany. A first classification is mentioned by Friedrich Bassermann-Jordan (1872-1959) in his work "Geschichte des Weinbaus" (History of Winegrowing) from 1644, when the council of Würzburg (Franconia) classified the vineyards of the city into four groups. From the middle of the 18th century, the quality of Rhine wine was differentiated according to locations and also sites. From the beginning of the 19th century, wine quality increasingly became an important competitive factor for German wines against the great competition from France. Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821) had a "Classification des Vines" drawn up around 1804. Since the Rhineland belonged to France at that time, the same evaluation principles applied as for the world-famous French vineyards. The best were classified as Grand Cru. After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in June 1815, the Rhineland became a Prussian province at the Congress of Vienna.
Serious sources on the internet are rare - and Wine lexicon from wein.plus is one such source. When researching for my articles, I regularly consult the wein.plus encyclopaedia. There I get reliable and detailed information.Thomas Götz
Weinberater, Weinblogger und Journalist; Schwendi