Fine wine and Champagne houses should not lose sight of what the west can offer as they scramble to serve wealthy drinkers in Asia, says Olivier Krug.
While Krug Champagne sales in Hong Kong now almost equal those in the UK, Olivier Krug (pictured) is just as excited about opportunities closer to home.
‘What’s amazing is also what’s happening in traditional markets,’ said the sixth-generation family member and director of Champagne Krug, who spoke to Decanter.com at the press dinner for the Krug Institute of Happiness pop-up restaurant in London.
‘Take the London on-trade, it’s one of the most exciting on-trade markets in the world.’
Krug was also keen to stress that ID codes now appearing on bottles of Grande Cuvée are about more than simply publishing the date of disgorgement – the removal of yeasts after secondary fermentation, prior to dosage.
‘You can have three Grande Cuvées that are different, and with the ID codes we are giving you the opportunity to compare them,’ he said. ‘We are far from a Champagne only for connoisseurs, but we want to be more transparent.’
Grande Cuvée is a blend of up to 120 wines across 15 vintages from Krug’s ‘wine library’.
Looking to the future, Olivier Krug’s son is now 18 years old, although his father is saying nothing about his plans to welcome the seventh generation of Krugs to the business. ‘That’s up to him. You’ll have to ask him,’ he said.
The Institute of Happiness is a four-night pop-up for which the Moet-Hennessy-owned Champagne house is renting a £5m avant-garde property overlooking Highgate Cemetery in north London.
Michelin-starred chef Nuno Mendes is cooking for diners, at a cost of £440 for two places at the 16-seater restaurant.
Written by Chris Mercer