Bordeaux's wine brokers needed a formal tool that they could use to better market their wines to the general public. The châteaux were divided into 5 different classified growths – first being highest, fifth being lowest. Their classification was based on price alone. Haut Brion was the only château from the Graves to be included, possibly because it was the most famous at the time. Other châteaux from that sub-region were outlined in another classification in 1959.
Despite its age, it is still used as a reference guide, although some châteaux have shifted their reputations and comparative prices since. Over the years only one château has formally moved to a higher classification: in 1973 after years of trying to prove worthy stature, Mouton Rothschild was finally promoted to first growth from second growth. As a result, the logo on their labels changed from “Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis” (“First I cannot be, second I will not call myself, Mouton I am”) to “Premier je suis, second je fus, Mouton ne change” (“First I am, second I was, Mouton does not change”).