Maggie’s MagiK Rug

Maggie’s MagiK Rug

Tim Hall. January 2022

The admirable way Champagne Krug has made changes in the last few years, particularly in its carefully managed

change of chef de cave from Eric Lebel to Julie Cavil as well as telling its fans more about how Krug is made,

it one of Champagne’s great magic carpet rides. And steering the stately helter skleter’s direction has been CEO

and President Maggie Henriquez. But in December 2021 the news was broken by Champagne insider Sophie Claeys. that Maggie

Henriquez, the long-admired CEO and president ofChampagne Krug, will quit her post in March 2022 to become CEO of the

Chinese-ownedBaccarat, on whose board she has served for seven years.

An accomplishedsenior business strategist, Venezuelan-born Henriquez joined the wine and spirits

division of luxury conglomerate LVMH in 2001 and began at Krug in 2009. With

Olivier Krug she has steered the most revered Champagne house away from its

Champagne as a whole has been slow to adopt – that champagne is best

appreciated as a wine and not just an accoutrement and signal of fun. She pushes

the idea that paying attention to champagne is akin to listening properly to good

music, be it the best rock, jazz or classical. And that it needs a proper wine glass

revealing more than a flute’s rising bubbles.

As well as negotiating a longer ageing period for Krug, Henriquez oversaw the

induction of Julie Cavil to take over as chef de cave on Eric Lebel’s retirement and in

the meantime made information about winemaking and exactly what goes into each

bottle of Krug more available to those who want to know. She became an energetic

and good-humoured founder-member of La Transmission, a group of leading women

in Champagne. It has been quite a sight to see her pouring champagne at their

annual Champagne Week tasting in Reims, as if she were a brand assistant on hand

to help, but in expert discussion while divvying up a magnum between supplicant

Krugistes.

Maybe more than anything else, Henriquez inspires affection, something

few bosses of Champagne houses achieve, for all the respect they may enjoy.

In an official statement about her departure, Henriquez commented, ‘After much

reflection, I have concluded that my cycle at Krug is coming to an end and that it is

time to let younger leaders take over this new cycle. You all know me as someone

who loves developing talents. To follow their careers and see them progress is to

me a great gift. You also know how much I value coherence and it is precisely in the

interest of coherence that I must step back at the beginning of this new cycle

because I would never be able to complete it. I am very proud to be succeeded by

one of the leaders of this group who is dear to me, and with whom I have worked

closely since I joined Krug in 2009. I know he will lead the House with the excellent

team in place on the right path. With joy and great emotion, I pass the torch to

Manuel Reman who will have the responsibility of leading this wonderful House for

the coming years.’

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