My Métier d’Excellence
I’m the Deputy Head of Wine Operations at Krug. I’m involved in making our champagnes at every stage, from preparation of the harvests right through bottling. Everything starts in July with the “abreuvage”, watering the barrels to get them ready for the juice from the grapes during the harvest. Then we monitor the vinification, with the juice still in the barrels being transformed into wine thanks to alcoholic fermentation in September. After that, following a period of rest called “clarification”, the racking begins to separate the wine from the lees, rendering it clear, between December and February.
Meanwhile, the oenologists on the Krug Tasting Committee taste the wines and make decisions about the blending in the laboratory at the end of March. Then for us, in April we start blending the different wines that will go into the Maison’s cuvées: Krug Rosé, Krug Millésimé or Krug Grande Cuvée. This is a unique process each year that has been carried out since the birth of the Maison! Lastly, the wines are very lightly filtered before bottling, what we call the “tirage” in Champagne.
I was definitely not predestined for this métier! I graduated from high school in the economics section and I wanted to join the gendarmerie. But thanks to a happy coincidence I got a temporary contract to work for two months in the cellars at Krug. I really enjoyed it and I’ve been with the Maison ever since. Still, I knew absolutely nothing about champagne when I began. People with long experience at Krug taught me everything, first in the cellars, then increasingly in contact with the wines, and now in the different winemaking métiers.
The most important things you need for this métier
You need to be rigorous and pay strict attention to the least detail, since the wines are extremely delicate. They can become damaged very quickly if you don’t remain totally focused.
What I love most about my métier
The world of winemaking is constantly changing, and I love that. The heart of the métier stays the same, but the techniques change. Each year is different, and I learn something every day.
Passing on the métier to new generations
That’s something I consider very important and I like to share everything I know with new generations. I pass on our legacy savoir-faire, often things they no longer teach in schools, because we need to preserve them in order to maintain the right balance with modern techniques. It’s actually the Krug heritage that I’m passing on.