Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

classification of various wine estates and vineyards is in general a relatively recent phenomenon, dictated by the increasingly sophisticated wine market of the last 150 years or so. It has to a certain extent been superseded by the even more recent phenomenon of scoring individual wines.

There were earlier instances of classifying individual vineyards, however. The vineyards of jurançon in south-west France were officially evaluated as early as the 14th century. Tax collectors in gattinara did the same in the 16th century. In 1644, the council of Würzburg in franken rigorously ranked the city’s vineyards according to the quality of wine they produced (see german history). The first mention of a classification of tokaj vineyards dates from 1700, although the classes were not ratified until 1737 (and the vineyards probably not officially mapped until 1786 under Emperor Joseph II).