Champagne Krug was established in Rheims in 1843 by Joseph Krug, originally from Mainz in Germany. Champagne was a popular export to Germany and a number of famous names (including Bollinger, Taittinger, Mumm and Piper-Heidseck) had German founders, often beginning as merchants with a background in commerce who then founded their own houses. The son of a butcher, Krug worked for Jacquesson for eight years, first in the accounting department, but later gaining experience in blending, a skill which he developed when he founded his own house.
In more recent times, brothers Remi and Henri Krug ran the house from the 1960s, creating the concept of Krug as a 'multi-vintage' champagne (Krug's range consists entirely of prestiges cuvées, with no straightforward non-vintage). Famously reserved, Henri Krug was a quiet, retiring individual who brought a seriousness of approach to his winemaking, which was very apparent when we met the brothers in the late 1990s. In 2007 the house was sold to LVMH, but Henri's son Olivier Krug became its Director and is still very much the face of Krug today.
In 2010, Olivier discovered a red leather notebook at the house, containing Joseph Krug's notes from the 1840s, made whilst tasting different wines from different vineyard sites, with aim of producing a consistent blend, with a consistent house style, which would override the vagaries of vintages. This was quite a revolutionary approach at the time. He named his first blend 'Krug Champagne No. 1' and this numbering system was re-introduced for Grande Cuvée in 2017, with Krug Grande Cuvée 162Ème Édition, based around the 2006 vintage, being the 162nd release since Krug's first. Since then, each new release has been numbered and based around a particular base-vintage.
Krug's range is comprised of six champagnes in total, the others being Krug Rosé, Krug Vintage, Krug Collection and the very rare Krug Clos du Mesnil and Krug Clos d'Ambonnay. Krug Collection is essentially the vintage wine, late-disgorged after ten years' additional ageing at Krug's cellars. Krug Clos du Mesnil comes from a single 1.84 ha plot of Chardonnay in a walled Clos created in1698 in the centre of Mesnil-sur-Oger; vintaged (i.e. from a single year) and aged in Krug's cellars for a minimum of a decade. Krug Clos d'Ambonnay is from a single 0.68-hectare walled plot of Pinot noir in the heart of Ambonnay, aged for a minimum of 12 years. The cellar master is Julie Cavil. Just 760,000 bottles are made each year (compared, for example, to around 5 million for Dom Perignon!).