There have been vineyards in Champagne since the first century BC. Their total area may not be as great as it once was, but what the vineyards have lost in size they have gained in distinction. Champagne was one of the first wine-growing areas to seek, and win, protected geographical status, making it one of the longest-standing AOCs.
According to Champagne legend, the famous « Echelle des Crus » corresponded to the distance traveled to transport the grapes to the place of pressing. In other words, the shorter the distance, the higher the vintage’s percentage on the scale.
Within this range, there are three denominations of crus in Champagne: Premiers Crus, Grands Crus and Champagnes without crus.