If you’ve ever encountered any of France’s extensive wine classifications, you’ve heard the word cru. From Premier Cru to Grand Cru Classé to Premier Cru Supérieur Classé, there is no shortage of rankings a wine might have. And all of them share the term cru. Translated literally into English, cru means “growth.” It might seem like a strange word to describe wine. But cru is the past participle of the French verb croître, meaning “to grow.” It is, by extension, a reference to terroir – to the quality of the vines growing in a certain place.

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