Cru artisan in the Médoc has made a comeback. This year, a new regulatory framework will be published. The cru artisan classification existed in the Médoc already in the 1800s. At the time it was small estates where the owner himself was the winemaker. In order to support the family he often also had another profession, maybe baker, cooper, saddler or something similar (activities that are called “artisan” in France). Over time this classification was forgotten. The big chateaux demanded, and received, the attention. Cru Artisan did not have the same ring as Grand Cru Classé.
But the small chateaux didn’t give up and in 1994, the EU recognized Cru Artisan as a name permitted to put on the label. In 1989 the association Crus Artisans du Médoc was founded. The chateaux are still small and the owner himself must be involved in the daily work in the vineyard. There are around 50 Cru Artisan chateaux in the Médoc.
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