About Joseph Krug

Wine & Dine - - SINGAPORE’S TOP RESTAURANTS ISSUE FEATURE -

Born in 1800 in the small town of Mainz, in the Ger­man Rhineland, Joseph Krug was the fourth of 12 chil­dren. He grew up to earn renown as a book­keeper, ac­coun­tant and busi­ness­man, and soon be­came a part­ner of Jac­ques­son et Fils in Châlons-surMarne. He mar­ried Emma Jau­nay, the sis­ter-in-law of cham­pagne maker Adolphe Jac­ques­son in 1841.

While trav­el­ling across Europe on busi­ness, he was faced with com­plaints that Jac­ques­son wines were not up to stan­dard. De­ter­mined yet non-con­form­ist, he wanted to make out­stand­ing cham­pagne. In ut­most se­crecy, he be­gan blend­ing his own cham­pagne in Reims in 1840 with Hip­polyte de Vivès, a well­re­garded né­go­ciant. Even­tu­ally, he struck out on his own and founded his own com­pany at the age of 42.

Krug’s vi­sion­ary idea was to lib­er­ate cham­pagne mak­ing from in­con­sis­ten­cies, es­pe­cially those due to the fick­le­ness of weather. Seek­ing the holy grail of con­sis­tent, uni­form ex­cel­lence year af­ter year, he wanted com­plete con­trol over the wine­mak­ing process, re­fus­ing to be at the mercy of the el­e­ments. What’s more, he didn’t be­lieve in hi­er­ar­chies among his cham­pagnes, only dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­ments. And this phi­los­o­phy con­tin­ues in the house he founded till today. “All prices at Krug are defined based on rar­ity, not qual­ity; there is no en­try-level or sec­ond wine at the house,” says his de­scen­dant Olivier Krug.

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