The First Growth classification came about during The Exposition Universelle of 1855. This international exhibition began under the reign of Napoleon III. He wanted a venue to showcase the best wines France had to offer, as well as a classification system for those wines. They were ranked by chateau reputation and the price the wines could command on the open market. The Exposition gave rise to the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, which was made up of the top wines, also known as the Grand Cru classes. Within these classes, wines were ranked in 5 divisions numbered First Growth through to Fifth Growth.



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