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Eric Lebel Eric Lebel

The Land Speaks



Cellar Master Éric Lebel looks back on 21 years at the House of Krug and its singular founding philosophy.
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Eric Lebel Eric Lebel

Bottle X Hands Bottle X Hands

Twenty-one years have passed since I began my journey as Cellar Master at the House of Krug. For over two decades, I have been walking through the Champagne vines, observing the unique character of the vineyard plots and the wines born from each of them.

It was founder Joseph Krug’s unfaltering belief that only by paying the utmost attention to every single element could he offer the fullest expression of Champagne with the highest possible quality every year, regardless of variations in climate.

Krug glass Krug glass

In order to transcend the notion of vintage in creating a Champagne with exceptional quality, Joseph Krug began building a collection of reserve wines to which six generations have contributed. This library now houses 150 wines, each expressing the personality of an individual plot. Every year, to craft an Édition of Krug Grande Cuvée or Krug Rosé, the tasting committee and I audition around 250 wines of the year’s harvest and 150 reserve wines from 14 different years, and record over 4 000 tasting notes. Each Édition is created anew and bottles will then rest for several years in our cellars before being presented. Their stories are revealed online via the Krug iD on the back label of every bottle.

Krug x Pepper

Individuality as a Single Ingredient
Pepper and chef Pepper and chef

Year after year, the House honours its savoir faire – the art of understanding that every plot, as one wine, is in itself a single ingredient in Krug Champagnes – by inviting Krug Ambassade Chefs to interpret a humble single ingredient and imagine delectable pairings with Krug Grande Cuvée and Krug Rosé.

Pepper Pepper

Bottle and pepper Bottle and pepper

The 2019 single ingredient is diverse and enigmatic, anchored in both land and history. With its myriad forms and variations, there are today over 50 000 cultivars of the pepper, all of which trace their lineage to Mexico. Venturing off from vineyard to pepper field in Oaxaca, I joined these Chefs in the pursuit of their own single ingredient, and marvel at their inspiring and unexpected recipes crafted to accompany Krug Champagnes.