What I've Learnt: Manuel Reman

Chairman & chief executive officer of Krug, 45
Published: 15 December 2023

GROWING UP, we did a lot of sports because it was my passion at the time. I was lucky to be in an environment with parents who were doing everything they could to offer me good education, to have something to eat. to have a roof over my head. Compared to the rest of the population on Earth, I was very lucky.

MY FATHER came from Madagascar and lived in a township. My mother lived on a farm with no electricity and water when she was young. Their histories gave me the perspective that allow me to achieve. That's why I never take things for granted.

I MEET PEOPLE from all over the world and they'd say that in my country, I can't get Krug. `One of my objectives is to be able to offer the possibility to make Krug available for a wider number of communities. Fifty years ago, Krug was mostly served in France, UK and Italy. Now we are sold in Japan, the US, in Scandinavia but I think we can go further.

FIFTEEN or 20 years ago, you will go to Shanghai and you will see people drinking spirits. I was in Shanghai four weeks ago and there were many wine bars. They grew like... mushrooms. I saw young people talking about a Barolo, 20 years old, something that you hardly find in Paris. So we need to be there. We need to be there because I think they deserve to have a glass of Krug from time to time.

MY FIRST EXPERIENCE with champagne was like with most people—it was during a celebratory moment. What's great is that in the last 10 to 15 years, champagne has moved from being a celebratory drink to one that's ubiquitous as wine. It is paired with food; it's drunk at casual occasions. 

OPENING A BOTTLE of champagne creates the reason of the celebration.

AN EXAMPLE: you put on a certain kind of music when you're engaging in sports and exercise. It switches your mentality, your mood. If you're going on a date, you will put on a different type of music. So, why can't music alter the tastes of the champagne?

ONE OF THE WAYS is to talk about what you feel from drinking. Music is an analogy to that emotion. This might be a way to help people to enter the world of Krug without being too technical.

IT IS SUCH A great evocation of memories. Whenever I hear Balinese music, I remember my trip to Bali with my kids and my wife; the temples that we visited, the dinners we had.

MUSIC IS PERSONAL—some people can feel it, others don't.

SOME PEOPLE are afraid of wine, in general, because it's can be very technical. You hear about "master sommeliers" or "masters of wine"; the vocabulary can be intimidating to laypeople. We believe that we need to be more open to them.

I LOVE PIANO MUSIC. I've tried my hand at it but I'm bad at it. You need to know what you're good at and what you're not good at.

 we need to carry on crafting fantastic champagnes and so on but we need to accelerate and to go further and faster on the sustainable development front. That has already been part of LVMH and Krug's history in values. We already saw the huge impact of global warming. I'm more concerned about the forest fires in Portugal, in Italy, in Canada in the US. The heat waves in China; plastic is everywhere in the ocean. We need to take this seriously. 

KRUG is very small. We may not make a huge impact in terms of sustainability but we need to lead by example. Everything that we can do, we need to do it. Maybe not showcase it because sometimes, I'm afraid about greenwashing.

WE HAVE STOPPED using herbicides for nearly 10 years now and we are on the edge of becoming certified organic. It's a three year process and this is the last year for harvest. So when we start the new vineyard campaign next November, we will be organic.

NO, I never think about [being the youngest president for Krug], except when journalists ask me questions about it.

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