MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Day at Krug

By Devika Malhotra, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2013-2014, India

“To end with precision you have to start with precision”

 A breezy afternoon, a warm welcome and a generous toast by Ms. Margareth Henriquez, current President and CEO of the House of Krug, marked the beginning of a spectacular and informative day at the House of Krug. Her enthusiasm and passion ensured that each and every student sat up and listened. Her welcoming speech made us instantly feel a part of the Krug family.

“Patience at the service of elegance”
After enjoying Krug Grande Cuvée for the first time, we were escorted by Ms. Mylene Soulas, in charge of House Hospitality, around Krug’s cellars. She carefully explained each step for the creation of Krug Champagnes

205 liter oak barrels greeted us when starting the tour. They ensure the flexibility the House needs to respect the individuality of every plot (turn one plot into one wine) - the base of their undisputed quality philosophy - and also allow the first fermentation, which will give birth to the wines. We then caught a spectacular view of the bottles on the lees to allow for second fermentation, and aging for a minimum of 7 years for Krug Grande Cuvée and 10 years for a Vintage. As time passes, the fine bubbles reveal themselves and the distinctive Krug character emerges. At Krug, time is not a constraint, it is a strength.

Finally each bottle is riddled (vigorous right to left movement of the bottle to bring the sediment to the neck), until ready for disgorgement.

We also discovered Krug’s treasure, its wine library, stainless still tanks preserving wines dating back from 1998. Every year, Krug orchestrates the blending process using some of these reserve wines to re-create Krug Grande Cuvée.

We finished the tour with a sneak peek of a room full of numerous Krug vintages: the oldest bottle dates all the way back to 1880.

“Individuality is our basis of differentiation”

We ended the afternoon with a tasting session of three remarkable Krug Champagnes: Krug Grande Cuvée – a blend of around 120 wines, from 10 to 12 different years - and the Krug Vintages 2000 and 2003. It was interesting to notice that while all the Champagnes stood out individually, they were brought together by a common factor of perfect blends and balance.

The visit not only introduced us to a whole new world of Krug, but left us with new found respect, awe, fascination and appreciation for the brand. The authenticity, tradition, and heritage, the brand carries has been carefully preserved in the walls of these Krug cellars, and as Luxury MBA students at ESSEC we all felt extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity to visit Krug.