House_Heritage_House and Joseph composition
HERITAGE
Genesis of the vision
Joseph Krug was born in 1800 in the German town of Mainz, part of France’s Napoleonic empire at the time. Growing up at the heart of the Moselle, he was exposed early on to winegrowing as fragmented as the Champagne region he would one day call home. He became a talented, purposeful young man and spoke three languages.

Setting off at 24 as a trader and commercial traveler, he finally arrived in Paris in 1834. It was an exciting time where he lived in a creative milieu peopled by artists. Dreaming of making his mark in the world of Champagne, Joseph leaped at an opportunity that would eventually lead him to greatness: Joseph Krug was employed by Jacquesson, the leading Champagne House of the time. He quickly became a partner, travelled widely, mixed with the influential, but was far from satisfied.

For him, the essence of Champagne was pleasure, yet variables in the weather could make quality waver dramatically from one year to the next. Joseph dreamed of another way beyond the constraints that compromised Champagne quality.

At the age of 42, a time when most in his position would be close to retiring, he left the security of a comfortable career to risk it all. It was not an easy decision to take, especially considering he had married into the Jacquesson dynasty. But he was ready to put his vision to the test.
TAKE CARE TO NOTICE EVERYTHING,
AND FORGET NOTHING.
"CHAMPAGNE No.1", Krug Grande Cuvée
In 1840 Joseph met Hippolyte de Vivès, a highly regarded wine merchant in Reims. Over the next three years, the two undertook a secret but fruitful collaboration, testing new blends. This friendship became something of a trial run for the defining Krug approach. In 1843, with the support of de Vivès, Joseph Krug founded the House of Krug & Compagnie. At last he could pursue his dream: to create the very best Champagne every year regardless of variations in climate.



To immortalize his vision, Joseph confided in the pages of a cherry-red notebook – his enduring testament which survives to this day at the House of Krug. As he wrote in the notebook, passing on his knowledge to his son Paul, he was convinced great Champagne could only be achieved using good wines, tasted separately plot by plot, from good vineyards. Terroir was crucial.
But there was one more key to unlock guaranteed undisputed quality: he needed to free the process from climatic moodiness. So he began to
build a reserve of wines, each made of grapes from a separate plot of land with its own specific character. It soon became an extensive mixing palette.
Determined to create the most generous expression of Champagne every single year, he drew upon his vast library of reserve wines to compose his prestige Champagne. In this way, whatever the weather, whatever the harvest, Joseph would always be able to create a Champagne abundant in nuances and of unequalled generosity.



His notebook refers to it as Champagne No.1. Krug Grande Cuvée was born.
It was a revolution. An approach beyond the notion of vintage. Joseph had turned his back on the accepted rules of Champagne making. Yet none could deny the exceptional richness, elegance and distinction he achieved in every Krug Grande Cuvée he elaborated.
From its very inception, Krug would be first in creating only prestige Champagnes every year, a still unique and defining trait of Krug to this day.
IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO MAKE A GOOD WINE EXCEPT FROM GOOD ELEMENTS AND GOOD TERROIRS.
“CHAMPAGNE No.2”, Krug Vintage
"A good House should create only two Champagnes of the same quality", Joseph Krug wrote in his notebook; Champagne No.1, to be the fullest expression of Champagne every single year, and Champagne No.2, the expression of the circumstances of a particular year captured by Krug, and created only in the years where there is an interesting story to tell.
We know it today as Krug Vintage.
It is a Champagne which is not a selection of the best wines of a superlative year, but the blend of beautifully expressive wines from the year.
Vintage 2003 beautyshot
Joseph Krug did not believe in hierarchies between his Champagnes, clearly written in his personal notebook in 1848. Today the House offers seven Champagnes, all of the same undisputed quality, each illustrating a different expression of Nature. The only factor deciding pricing would be rarity.
And so it is today.
THE UNEXPECTED BIRTH OF KRUG ROSÉ
As generations passed, Joseph’s original vision continued to be passed on, cherished and enhanced. In the 1970s, rosé champagnes were enjoying increasing popularity. Fifth generation brothers, Henri and Rémi Krug, decided to try an experiment. They worked on developing a rosé in authentic Krug style, inspired by Pinot Noir grapes.

Finally, in 1983, Henri and Rémi Krug blind-tested the bouquet of this mystery drop on their father, Paul. Their father was alarmed. “We’re in trouble – somebody in Champagne is copying Krug!” Quickly reassured that this was indeed a Krug, he recovered his composure.

To their relief, he liked this bold new creation and gave his blessing to elaborate the House’s first Rosé Champagne. With delicate honey, citrus and dried fruit notes, Krug Rosé reveals a rare elegance in a rosé Champagne, able to confront full-flavoured dishes, being an alternative to red wine. A Rosé Champagne like no other.
Verre Rosé
IT IS A KRUG BEFORE BEING A ROSÉ.
Paul Krug
fourth generation, AFTER BLIND-TESTING KRUG ROSÉ
Paul Krug
Uniquely blessed by Nature: the Clos du Mesnil
In 1971, Rémi and Henri Krug, fifth generation, made an exquisite, albeit accidental, discovery. Having bought fifteen plots of vines in Mesnil-sur-Oger, the Champagne region’s most renowned village for Chardonnay, they realised that their purchase included a walled vineyard in the heart of the village. This small plot of only 1.84 hectares soon proved to be a truly fabulous discovery.

An ancient inscription reveals its age: “In the year 1698, this wall was built by Claude Jannin and Pierre Dehée Metoen and in the same year the vines were planted by Gaspard Jannin, son of Claude.”

Soon enough, Krug uncovered the plot’s outstanding nature. The walls protecting this small garden, create a veritable micro-climate that gives unique character to the Chardonnay grapes within.
Its special quality came to light through Krug’s idiosyncratic process of following each plot as an individual wine. After numerous tasting sessions, the wine from Clos du Mesnil clearly stood out from all the others. They had stumbled upon one of the clearest examples known of the magic of “terroir”, and it inspired the House of Krug to innovate once more, in the finest tradition of Joseph Krug’s anti-conformism.

For the first time in its history, Krug created a champagne devoted to a single plot of land, first revealed as Krug Clos du Mesnil 1979. One plot, one grape variety, one year. Thus was born the purest expression of Chardonnay.
Clos du Mesnil parcelle
CDM 2003 packshot
A WINE THAT HAS CREATED ITS OWN UNIVERSE. IT HAS A UNIQUE, SPECIAL SOFTNESS THAT ALLIES WITH THE TOTAL PURITY THAT COMES FROM A SMALL, ENCLOSED SINGLE VINEYARD. THE FRUIT IS ALMOST IRRELEVANT HERE, BECAUSE IT COMES AS PART OF A MUCH DEEPER COMPLEXITY. THIS IS A GREAT WINE, AT THE SUMMIT OF CHAMPAGNE, A SUBLIME UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE.
TINY WALLED MIRACLE: THE CLOS D’AMBONNAY
Following the sheer serendipity of Krug Clos du Mesnil, another delightful gem awaited Rémi, Henri and Olivier Krug, the sixth generation. But it was not immediate.
For seven years, they searched around the village of Ambonnay, looking for an exceptional plot which might allow them to pay tribute to Pinot Noir, the grape variety closest to the House of Krug’s heart, in the same way that Krug Clos du Mesnil glorified Chardonnay.

Ambonnay is renowned in Champagne for its Pinot Noir grapes, having been the primary source for Krug since its beginnings. In the 20th century, it seemed all the most worthwhile plots must have been already identified. Yet a hidden treasure did exist. In 1991 they found it.
Tucked away on the edge of the village was a minuscule garden plot of just 0.68 hectares: the site we now know as the Clos d’Ambonnay. Although its vines had only been planted in the 20th century, this forgotten corner of terroir proved outstanding.

Purchased by the House in 1994, the plot produced a harvest worthy of its own vintage just one year later. Krug applied its meticulous savoir-faire to create the extremely rare Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1995, finally revealed in 2007.
A new name was added to the pantheon of great champagnes.
Clos d'Ambonnay vigne
My first experience of Clos d'Ambonnay blew me away... This is a profound and intellectual wine which leaves you asking one question: how do I get my hands on some?... If you love champagne you have to have Clos D'AMBONNAY.
SIX GENERATIONS LATER...
The legacy of Joseph Krug lives on. It is a passion and a unique savoir-faire that have been handed down in a direct line from Joseph Krug to his son Paul, then Joseph II, Paul II, then his sons Henri and Rémi. Today, Henri’s son Olivier Krug represents the sixth generation.
It is what makes each bottle of Krug so precious.
Olivier Assouline
Devoted Krug Lovers have one significant advantage over me: they can recall and describe in minute detail the first time they ever tasted Krug Champagne… a drop of Krug was placed on my lips the day I was born.
Olivier Krug
sixth generation, director of The House of Krug
Olivier Krug
Krug App
Curious about your bottle of Krug Champagne? Download the Krug app and discover the story your bottle has to tell, via its Krug ID.

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