Single vineyards, under their different names, have defined the quality of wine since Antiquity: it was son remarked that grapes from some specific vineyards produced wines with greater character and charm than others, and it was also soon perceived that orography, orientation, soils and subsoils were the key to that distinctiveness. So, wines from a specific parcel gained prestige and value. They came from vineyards called `pago´ in Spain,`cru´ in Bordeaux, `climat´ in Burgundy, `Gewächs´ on the Rhine, `sorì´ in Piemonte…
Whereas Pago Macharnudo, in Jerez, is possibly Europe´s oldest single vineyard, the most famous and respecte done in the world is a Burgundian `climat´, La Romanée-Conti, little more than one hectare in surface, which is 50 times smaller than the largest of Burgundy´s `grands crus´, the neighbouring Clos de Vougeot. But some historic vineyards are famous elsewhere in France – such as Château Grillet in the Rhône or la Coulée de Serrant in the Loire. En Piemonte, three small vineyards owned by Angelo Gaja – Sorì Tildin, Sorì San Lorenzo and Costa Russi – have propelles the reputation of the nebbiolo grape sky-high. In Germany, the finest historic vineyards have been recently defined as `grosses Gewächs´(`erstes Gewächs´ in the Rheingau), the equivalent of the French `grand cru´: these are vineyards such as Fritz Haag´s Brauneberg Juffer-Sonnenuhr, or Schloss Johannisberg´s Silberlack.

Even in the New World, where some believe that the concept of `terroir´ is underdeveloped, a century and a half of quality-conscious viticulture in several country has made it possible to establish many privileged growths, such as To-Kalon or Bien Nacido in California.