History

In Medoc the name Crus Artisans (artisan growths) has been existing for more than 150 years. "Cook & Ferret" reported on it in detail in the 1968 edition of "Bordeaux and its wines".

During the 17th century the notion Crus appeared. This marked either more or less important wine-growing areas or the names of certain localities or certain wine estates.

Then - as now - creating, caring of a vineyard and producing a quality wine was no small task and required construction, equipment, draught animals and a lot of labour. As a result, our countryside is populated and requires the establishment of many activities to meet individual needs, such as: wheelwright, blacksmith, saddler, cooper.

These artisans often own and cultivate their own vineyards.
This name Crus Artisans, at first glance simplistic, makes it possible to distinguish a new family of wines as well as the quality of their wines.

Over the years, the names were refined, and in addition to the Crus Classés, there have appeared Crus Bourgeois supérieur, Crus Bourgeois, Premiers Artisans, Crus Artisans and Crus Paysans.
Most of these wine estates are small, their owners work the vineyards themselves, sometimes using local labour.

All craftsmen are represented, Sébileau and Rapet carpenters in Saint Estèphe, Lagarde blacksmith in Saint Julien, Videau cooper in Saint Germain d'Esteuil ...

The crises of the 1930s, the wars... meant the downfall for some of these small wine estates and for the use of these designations. Winegrowers who have survived these hazards no longer use them to describe their wines. Worse still, they despise them. In the minds of many, the term "artisan" becomes pejorative.

But isn't this expression of artisans one of the most rewarding?
Doesn't it come from the Latin "ars" (art)? According to E. Littré, the word "artisan" (craftsman) was formerly equivalent to that of "artiste" (artist).
Doesn't the expression Crus Artisans mean the estate where only the passion of the vine and of the wine reign undivided?

In the 1980s, fervour predominated, a new generation settled down and disrupted certain habits with respect.
It will take all the tenacity of a handful of Médoc winegrowers to revive this Crus Artisans award by founding the Syndicate of the Crus Artisans of Médoc in 1989. According to Article IV of its articles of association "its aim is to group small and medium-sized autonomous farms where the manager effectively participates in the work of his vineyard, produces AOC wines (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée - controlled designation of origin) and markets his estate bottled production".

In June 1994, European roles gave this designation a place of honour and allowed the mention "Crus Artisans" to appear on the main label.
Following publication in the French Official Journal in 2006 and 2012, some forty wine estates may now use the term "Crus Artisans" and have the exclusive right to do so.
This list is reviewed every five years to confirm the impeccable quality of the Crus Artisans and to allow other farms to join this large family.

From the smallest to the largest, the same flame animates all of them; the owners, who are Artisans winemakers, take care of the entire production chain with determination and passion.