BestChampagne had the pleasure of interviewing Mr Olivier Krug, the sixth generation of this iconic Champagne House.
Olivier Krug represents the 6th generation of the family.
Krug is now part of the LVMH wine division which has not deterred this establishment to be run as a family affair and maintain its notable reputation and consistent style that originated in 1843.
BestChampagne: You are rated amongst the very best champagnes in the world, what makes you superior?
Olivier Krug: Superiority is not part of our vocabulary, neither competition nor ratings. It is about sharing, offering and giving an emotion of being generous with a sensation. I believe this is what champagne is all about.
When I talk about champagne I talk about the pleasure not about being superior to others. Pleasure is about sharing and falling in love and this is the legend that makes Krug so popular.
Krug has been among the most highly rated champagnes for decades, Krug is produced to be consistently affluent and the most generous expressions of champagne; the recognition of this brings great joy to my team as this is what we aspire to all the time.
Subsequently, our production methods are indeed also very important in making our champagne, for example, we choose our grapes block by block, age our wine for lengthy periods and have a vast amount of base wines to work with.
The sensation is technically splendid but the majority of people does not taste for technical reasons, do they? They taste for pleasure; this is why we always put the delight and contentment of champagne first when we talk about Krug.
Besides this we feel that Krug is the easiest champagne to understand on earth, you just have to experience it. You don’t need to know it; you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy Krug.
The versatility of Krug makes food pairing with our champagne offer endless possibilities, this all adds to the diversity of Krug.
BC: Who is champagne Krug for?
OK: Krug is for the people who want the best possible pleasure when drinking champagne and it is not a question of money.
I came across an article that had discovered a Krug 1857 that achieved a price that was twice the price of the most expensive and oldest Bordeaux. Champagne is best possible commodity when drinking great wines.
BC: How can you describe Krug style?
OK: I have been working at Krug for more than 20 years. This has given me world-class and sensible expertise on Krug but instead of talking about technicalities I want to stress the vision of my ancestors who were addicted and obsessed with pleasure, which is what we want to create and bring across in our quality. With quality, you will always have pleasure.
Krug is not about being a connoisseur or specialist. We have just maintained the vision of Joseph Krug, the founder of our House, whose determination and philosophy of uncompromising consistency and quality bring pleasure to the person enjoying Krug for centuries and centuries to come.
He was a maverick for his time, initially doing business in Paris and only marrying at the age of 41. This was a gentleman who knew the art of living.
He worked for Jacquesson Champagne to acquire a better understanding of the principles of champagne and its distribution around the world. He learned that the creation of consistency is the ultimate skill to be able to offer your client.
This is what he strived for; to create a champagne that did not exist at that time and to present quality every year. Beyond that, Joseph Krug wanted to create the richest possible expression of champagne.
He studied the terroir of Champagne and found he enjoyed its nuances to create individuality in his champagne. Today we still preserve this desirable feature, for example, every year we make 200 – 250 different base wines, this brings remarkable possibilities for us to maintain the best of the best.
We strive for consistency year in and year out, and the aging of our champagne is where we can acclaim a further distinction in our product, but it is this obsession with pleasure that brings out our distinctiveness.
BC: You have introduced the Krug ID code on every bottle. What is the idea behind?
OK: We have put an element on our bottle in the form of an identity code. This is a modern approach to communicate with the public but also a way of Krug expressing itself, and improving our clients’ knowledge of Krug in an effortless approach.
We are giving this information to the public to further develop an interest in their own collections of Krug, the information we provide are the details of the disgorgement date, and will link to harvest conditions in the years on which the wine is based.
This helps the customer to age his/her wine in their own cellar and come to a decision when is the best time to drink the Krug.
BC: Krug is part of the luxury group LVMH. What does it mean?
OK: Our uniqueness and distinctiveness remain that of our initial establishment; which is a product that brings the greatest of pleasure to the public, this is why a large group sought to be part of Krug.
As for my observation; I was born 12 meters from Krug House and spent the first 8 years of my wine career in the tasting room while my grandfather was also working at Krug.
Krug’s connotation to the world may be with luxury but I see luxury starting with love, this is how my relationship began with Krug.
Krug is still one of the last undiscovered products which means we still have much work to achieve within our group but our reputation along with our achievements thus far is something we are very proud of.
BC: Is Krug current uniqueness reproducible in your opinion?
OK: A lot of people cannot afford to produce the type of champagne we create; to recreate our brand and vision would take 40 -50 years.
You cannot make great champagne without using the best grapes, best wine, and best terroir. You might come close to something when using mediocre quality but you cannot rely on this otherwise you will lose your reputation; this is why we never ever compromise on quality.
Part of the vision of Krug is to create and maintain the relationships with the growers, then create the reserve wines which take many years and lastly then to experiment with the style you wish to uphold. The entirety of this vision has taken time and we have maintained this with consistency throughout.
A further essential part to Krug has been creating relationships and loyalty from our clients who have perfected the art of pleasure while enjoying Krug over the many years; this makes us a complex replica to reproduce.
BC: What would be life without champagne for you Mr Krug?
OK: I would say very exciting because I would have to invent it!
Follow the link to discover the Krug House and champagnes.