The 1855 classification: still not set in stone!




The Juridiction de Saint Emilion was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999, and this was followed by the Climats de Bourgogne as well as the Coteaux, Maisons et Caves de Champagne in 2015.

In 2013, Philippe Castéja, president of the association bringing together most of the great growths, announced during the inauguration of the new cellar at Mouton Rothschild that he, too, would seek inclusion of the 1855 classification as one of the world’s great “intangible cultural heritages”. He commissioned a feasibility study and received support from French foreign minister Laurent Fabius.

However, it has just been announced that this project has been abandoned. As unbelievable as this may seem, certain château owners still nourish the hope of upgrading their status and did not want to see the classification set in stone…

The classification has only been changed once in its history, when Mouton Rothschild was promoted from second to first growth. Other French wine classifications, such as Burgundy’s grands crus and Saint-Emilion allow for promotions and, in the latter case, demotions.

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