About Us

A wine revolution
Our Vision

The American Grand Cru Society® seeks to empower wine consumers by recognizing America’s great vineyards.

Our Mission
  • Identifying America’s great vineyards for the origin-specific characteristics cultivated through their wine growers’ commitment to quality viticulture practices.

  • Recognizing America’s world-class wines produced by quality-driven winemakers and originating in our Grand Cru vineyards.

  • Educating wine consumers about America’s best vineyards and the wines they produce to enhance wine experiences and establish the foundation for lifelong wine appreciation.

Our Purpose

The American Grand Cru Society® brings together our country’s leading winemakers, viticulturists and industry experts to identify and recognize America’s best vineyards and the unique, world-class wines they produce. As a not-for-profit organization, we are committed to helping shape the future of the American wine industry by building a transparent, comprehensive understanding of our nation’s diverse terroir and the unique characteristics of the great American wines produced by these vineyards. We use our honest, origin-specific approach to recognizing America’s best vineyards and wines they produce to help wine consumers establish the foundation for a lifelong appreciation of American wine.

Meet the team

Society Leadership and Advisors

Great wines come from great vineyards – that’s just the way it is!

A word from industry leaders
Aaron Pott
Image credit: Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Winery Collection
Aaron Pott
Winemaker, Pott Wine, Napa Valley, California
“Winemaker of the Year,” Food and Wine Magazine (2012)

By identifying a Grand Cru® vineyard, we are not just identifying what is great terroir or what makes great wine. We are looking at the myriad of things that constitute a great terroir – isolating it, deconstructing it, and helping us understand how great wine is made in many different cases. At the end of the day, wine quality is a function of where it is grown and how we adapt to it.”

Image credit: Wine Spectator
Image credit: Wine Spectator
Santiago Achával
Founder and Winemaker, Achával-Ferrer Winery, Mendoza, Argentina
Founder and Winemaker, The Farm Winery, Paso Robles, California

During the 2012 acknowledgment of Achával-Ferrer Winery’s Malbec Mendoza Finca Bella Vista 2010 as the 10th ranked wine in the Wine Spectator Top 100:

This is a great occasion to talk about great vineyards and to fully endorse the American Grand Cru Society’s efforts to classify, acknowledge, and somehow create a sense of respect for the great vineyards of the U.S.

Great wines come from great places and only great places. In Paso, we are working with our vineyard that is 50 years old, planted on limestone, and [we are] working with a vineyard where we have Grenache and Syrah at 2,000 feet above sea level. These are great vineyards that give character to wines. These vineyards deserve acknowledgment as Grand Cru® vineyards – as being above and beyond the normalcy of everyday vineyards. Kudos to the American Grand Cru Society® — I encourage you to come and support these efforts.

Adam Steely
Adam Steely
Food and Wine Consultant, Restaurateur and Hospitality Expert
Williamsburg, Virginia

I support the American Grand Cru Society® and hope you will as well. We are [working] to bring the U.S. wine community together and designate the very best vineyard sites in the country. With the support of top winemakers and veteran grape growers, we will publically recognize [our] best vineyards.

Christophe Hedges
General Manager, Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain, Washington

[As] an American wine grower and producer, I support the efforts and mission of the American Grand Cru Society®. We are fortunate that the USA has some of the most prized viticulture areas in the world – producing wines of precision, historical pedigree, and authentic terroir styles.

Today’s American wine media all too often oversimplify the wine’s style made from these vineyards, usually by assigning a static symbol such as a points score. These scores are then accompanied by a hedonistic approach to characterizing styles using awkward descriptors as a means to define an ever-changing, biological art form.

What the American Grand Cru Society® seeks to accomplish is to give back the context of place, of geographic-specificity, so that understanding wine is about understanding geography. To highlight these vineyards and to educate us is a more truthful and more transparent approach to [identifying] great wines.

The discussion of brand is simplistic, but the discussion of place is the natural evolution of wine education. Designated by state, the American Grand Cru Society® recognizes best in class vineyards and the wines made from those vineyards… With your help, we can create the first, truly dedicated, third party recognition program focused on what is most important in wine – its location.

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