Remodeling the House that Champagne Built

Interview by Anton D. Javier
Photos courtesy of Krug
28 Sep 2017

For connoisseurs, Krug champagne needs no introduction. But to put a face to the brand, meet its President and CEO, Maggie Henriquez, who is responsible for keeping its legacy alive and current in the 21st century

"I'm Maggie Henriquez, the President and CEO of The House of Krug. In my role, my main responsibility is designing and determining the vision of the house, ensuring that it is clear for the people working in and for Krug. I also ensure that everything we do is aligned to our philosophy, vision, and values. I am a very detail-oriented person, and it is a trait that has worked to my advantage because I believe that The House of Krug has to be run in an impeccable way and paying attention to details is important; to ensure we all work based on our values and aligned toward the same objective.

For a heritage brand, the first thing you have to do to ensure its success is to understand why you exist. The ‘why you exist’ aspect must not change, and should be timeless. When you know why you exist and the values that go along with it, it will define where you want to go. And when you define this direction, you are able to define the strategies to get there. Coherence and continuity also take center stage because the world is so crowded these days with so many messages, and it is with these two that allow you to touch the consumer, leave an impression, and create a link.

When it comes to the perception of champagne, I believe that change is necessary. When you look at the world of wines and spirits and all the other categories — vodka, tequila, rum, wine — there has been an evolution and people’s perception of them has changed. The only category that has the same perception for the past 50 years is champagne. For me, this is a call of attention that we have to evolve.

I believe champagne has been so successful that we haven’t done much to transform ourselves, and is still seen as a celebratory drink that is shaken in the bottle, sprayed on people, and served in stupid flutes. We have to go beyond this and be a part of everyday life and be able to accompany food, and enjoyed by more people.”