Bordeaux’s 1855 Classification is still (for some reason) much debated, especially by old, British and invariably white men who give the impression they still communicate with each other via telegram.

Beyond debate is how reluctant Bordeaux’s most famous wineries–on the Left Bank at least–have been to adopt organics & biodynamics. Only 6 out of 88 estates classified in 1855 are certified with 2 still in conversion. Château Pontet-Canet in Pauillac was the first of the famous Médoc estates to take the plunge with biodynamics under Alfred Tesseron (trials from 2004), then stopped briefly in the tricky 2007 vintage, but then immediately re-started again, wiser and more determined than before.

The first First Growth in Bordeaux to go organic was Château Guiraud in Sauternes. This is the only winery in the commune of Sauternes classed as a First Growth in 1855 other than Yquem. Organics began here under the management of Xavier Planty in 1996. Planty also owns his own organic farm (maize, cereal crops, forage) and vineyard just south of the Sauternes region. His approach at Guiraud was to break the vineyard down into its constituent pieces to be able to farm, pick and ferment each piece on its merits before putting the jigsaw back together when making the final blends for bottling. Guiraud is a bespoke wine made from one of France’s greatest terroirs. It is Bordeaux’s best-value for money first growth.

Key
  • AB = ‘Agriculture Biologique‘, French for ‘organic’.
  • BD = certified Biodynamic by either Demeter France or by the Syndicat International des Vignerons en Biodynamie (SIVCBD), a France-based international biodynamic winegrowers’ group whose logo/trademark is ‘Biodyvin’.

Médoc & Graves

First Growths (Premiers crus)

  • Haut-Brion
  • Lafite-Rothschild
  • Latour (AB 2018+, in part)
  • Margaux
  • Mouton-Rothschild

Second Growths (Deuxièmes Crus)

  • Brane-Cantenac (AB 2016+)
  • Cos d’Estournel
  • Ducru-Beaucaillou
  • Durfort-Vivens (BD 2016+)
  • Gruaud-Larose
  • Lascombes
  • Léoville-Las Cases
  • Léoville-Poyferré
  • Léoville-Barton
  • Montrose
  • Pichon Longueville Baron
  • Pichon Longueville Comtesse
  • Rauzan-Gassies
  • Rauzan-Ségla

Third Growths (Troisièmes Crus)

  • Boyd-Cantenac
  • Calon-Ségur
  • Cantenac-Brown
  • Desmirail
  • Ferrière
  • Giscours
  • d’Issan
  • Kirwan
  • Lagrange
  • La Lagune (AB 2016+)
  • Langoa-Barton
  • Maléscot Saint Exupéry
  • Marquis d’Alesme Becker
  • Palmer (BD 2017+)

Fourth Growths (Quatrièmes Crus)

  • Branaire-Ducru
  • Beychevelle
  • Duhart-Milon
  • Lafon-Rochet
  • Marquis de Terme
  • Pouget
  • Prieuré-Lichine
  • Saint-Pierre
  • Talbot
  • La Tour Carnet

Fifth Growths (Cinquièmes Crus)

  • d’Armailhac
  • Batailley
  • Belgrave
  • Camensac
  • Cantemerle
  • Cos Labory
  • Clerc-Milon
  • Croizet Bages
  • Dauzac
  • Grand-Puy-Ducasse
  • Grand-Puy-Lacoste
  • Haut-Bages-Libéral (AB 2019+)
  • Haut-Batailley
  • Lynch-Bages
  • Lynch Moussas
  • Pédesclaux
  • Pontet-Canet (BD 2011+)
  • du Tertre

Sauternes & Barsac

Superior First Growth (Premier Cru Supérieur)

  • d’Yquem

First Growths (Premiers crus)

  • Climens (BD 2013+)
  • Clos Haut-Peyraguey
  • Coutet
  • Guiraud (AB 2011+)
  • Lafaurie-Peyraguey
  • La Tour Blanche
  • Rabaud-Promis
  • Rayne-Vigneau
  • Rieussec
  • Sigalas-Rabaud
  • Suduiraut

Second Growths (Deuxièmes Crus)

  • d’Arche
  • Broustet
  • Caillou
  • Doisy-Daëne
  • Doisy-Dubroca (AB 2003-2014, now part of Doisy-Daëne)
  • Doisy-Védrines
  • Filhot
  • Lamothe
  • Lamothe-Guignard
  • de Malle
  • de Myrat
  • Nairac
  • Suau
  • Romer
  • Romer du Hayot