The boss of one of the top champagne houses says that the industry needs to shake off its “stuffy image” — and embrace technology.
The wine has come under pressure from the soaring popularity of prosecco and now Maggie Henriquez, chief executive of Krug Champagne, says the industry should take advantage of the latest digital advances to prosper, despite people “trembling” at the prospect.
She said: “It’s a mistake of champagne to have this stuffy image. We live in the era of information — people want to know things. I’m 59 and I think the way you keep young is when you understand that every day, we know less. It was a major weakness for me that the most important champagne we make was a champagne that took 20 years to make and people didn’t know anything about it. They had no information in the era of information.”
In 2012 she launched the Krug app which allows customers to discover the blending history of each year’s Grande Cuvée bottling. The bottles have a six-digit ID number which reveals blending notes from the house’s cellar master Eric Lebel, who will have chosen over 120 wines from more than 10 different years to create that batch.
Henriquez said: “When I suggested the ID numbers, people were trembling but I have to thank my team who never hesitated, never. You imagine, this bottle has a window to digital.”