- noun used to refer to a classified or named vineyard, or an appellation contrôlée wine from that vineyard
- a particular style, source or quality of a wine. In France the term is used with a very specific meaning, particularly to class the quality and source of wine from Bordeaux AOC, Burgundy AOC, and Champagne AOC. In these AOCs, the term refers to a particular vineyard or estate that produced the wine; in Beaujolais AOC it refers to a village producing high-quality wine. Other countries use the term ‘cru’ but with a less strictly controlled meaning, indicating the top-quality wine from a producer. The oldest use of ‘cru’ is as a historical method of rating wine by the best wine-producing estates in an area, providing five categories of classification for red wines and two for white wines in a system developed as the classification of 1855. Other areas of France, e.g. the Burgundy AOC region, use ‘cru’ to refer to the actual land on which the vine grows; there are two levels: grand cru (one of the best wines of the area) and premier cru. In the Champagne AOC region ‘cru’ is used in a way similar to that of Burgundy but refers to the entire village rather than a particular plot of land.