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1855 Classification of Bordeaux


1855 Classification of Bordeaux

Anyone who has heard of Bordeaux wine, doesn’t miss out on the 1855 classification of Bordeaux. Napoleon III, Emperor of France requested to have a classification system in place for Bordeaux wines prior to the Universal Exposition at Paris in 1855. The intention was to have best products from France at the exposition. He invited the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce to organize the exhibit and the classification system which was executed with the help of an organization of wine merchants to put forth the classification system.

The wine merchants rated the wines as per wineries’ reputation, trading price and as per markets judgment for the wines. The outcome was the final list called the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification, 1855. The wines were ranked in the descending importance from 1st to 5th growths. The red wines included in the list were all from Medoc and one exception being Château Haut-Brion from Graves. The white wines were restricted to sweet varieties of Sauternes and Barsac which belonged to 1st and 2nd growths.

The list showcased 58 Château in 1855:

First Growths: 4

Second Growths: 12

Third Growths: 14

Fourth Growths: 11

Fifth Growths: 17

The classification has gone through many changes since 1855 like Châteaux names, owners, vineyards, wine quality, and land parcel divisions, resulting in 61 Château on the list.

Following is the list of famous first growths and great first growth from Sauternes,

The Official 1855 Classification


Premiers Crus

Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Château Latour Pauillac

Château Margaux Margaux

Château Haut-Brion Pessac, Graves (since 1986, Pessac-Leognan)

Château Mouton-Rothschild (became a first-growth in 1973) Pauillac

Sauternes and Barsac: The Classification of 1855

Great First-Growth

Grand Premier Cru

Château d’Yquem Sauternes



Premiers Crus

Château La Tour Blanche Bommes (Sauternes)

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Bommes (Sauternes)

Clos Haut-Peyraguey (Château Clos Haut-Peyraguey) Bommes (Sauternes)

Château de Rayne-Vigneau Bommes (Sauternes)

Château Suduiraut Preignac (Sauternes)

Château Coutet Barsac

Château Climens Barsac

Château Guiraud Sauternes

Château Rieussec Fargues (Sauternes)

Château Rabaud-Promis Bommes (Sauternes)

Château Sigalas-Rabaud Bommes (Sauternes)

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