Henri Krug, the former president of Maison Krug Champagne, died on Thursday, March 7, 2013. He was 75 years old.
Henri, a man of few words, was the fifth generation to oversee the production of the legendary bubbly, along with his younger brother Rémi. He had a particular interest in closely monitoring the vineyards and perfecting the final blends. During his tenure as company president from 1975–2002, Henri finessed the Grande Cuvée, and launched Krug Clos du Mesnil as well as the company’s first Krug Rosé. Even with small production, the exceptional tastes landed the bottlings on some of the world’s best tables—and earned the Champagne numerous accolades. Indeed, Wine Enthusiast’s European Editor Roger Voss granted Krug’s 1998 Clos du Mesnil 100 points.
The Krug house was founded in 1843 by Johann-Joseph Krug. Rémy Cointreau purchased Krug in 1969, then in 1999 the luxury goods giant Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy took control, but the Krug family maintained their involved in production and management of the business. Henri’s oldest son, Olivier, 46, is the sixth generation family connection under LVMH both in the vineyards and cellars.
“He was a man of few words, very discreet,” said Fabrice Rosset, president of Champagne Deutz. “But when he spoke it was never for himself but for Krug and for others. He spoke for the cause of Champagne.”
Henri Krug is survived by his wife Odile and their five children. Memorial services will be held in Reims, France on Saturday, March 16, 2013.