What is a Champagne Premier Cru ?

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.

The Premier Crus:

Only 44 municipalities out of 312 are classified as AOC Champagne “Premier Cru” (5,000 ha, or 17% of the vineyard) and are entitled to this designation.

To benefit from this appellation, the land of the property must be part of one or more villages classified PREMIER CRU.

Only owners who have all of their land in a « Premier Cru classified village » can mention it on their bottles.

Champagne François Lecompte, whose entire vineyard is located on the Rilly-la-Montagne terroir, is entitled to this highly coveted CHAMPAGNE PREMIER CRU appellation.