Cru is French for "growth" or "vineyard" and is used as a means of classifying France's most distinguished wines or wine estates. This extremely complicated and politically regulated classification system originated in 1855 as a way of ranking Bordeaux's best wineries. Out of the thousands of wineries that existed back then, only 61 were—and still are—given the distinction of being in the best class, Cru Classé́, and even those 61 were placed into five subcategories (First Growth, Second Growth, etc.). The very best Burgundy vineyards are divided into Grand Cru and Premier Cru, and from there it only gets more complicated. For simplicity's sake, just remember that a Cru Classé wine is generally superior to—and more expensive than—most other French wines.