Behind every precious drop of Krug stands the dream of a visionary. One man who, long before others, understood that the essence of Champagne is pleasure.
So, over 170 years ago, Joseph Krug broke with convention to follow his vision. To create the most generous expression of Champagne every year, regardless of climatic unpredictability.
Joseph’s bold experiment proved a triumph and he succeeded in creating Champagne like never before. And like no other Champagne House since.
To this day, the House of Krug lives and breathes his enduring philosophy, creating only prestige Champagnes since 1843.
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.
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.