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KRUG Champagnes have been available and very popular with Quebecers for years. We caught up with Olivier Krug, director of the House of Krug and representative of the sixth generation of the family, while he was in Montréal to find out more about the visionary brand.

Tell us the story of your house.

It’s the story of my great-grandfather Joseph Krug’s dream. He wanted to create a prestige Champagne regardless of the year, to move beyond the notion of a vintage. A Champagne that would be the fullest expression of Champagne every year. That was in 1832. At that time, it was a revolutionary idea. He made his dream a reality and we have continued to create this Champagne every year, for six generations.


You like to associate your Champagnes with pieces of music and even work with musicians. Why is music the perfect complement to your products?

Champagne speaks to your senses. You don’t need to be an expert to appreciate or explore it. Many studies have shown how music influences the taste experience. That is why our house works with musicians who come to taste our Champagnes and pair them with specific music. It really heightens the tasting experience.

Tell us about your Champagnes.

My ancestor Joseph Krug said that a good House should not create a hierarchy among its Champagnes. That is still true today. All our Champagnes are equally high quality. House of Krug is unique in that it produces only special cuvées. We have:

  • Two Champagnes that Joseph KRUG called No. 1 and No. 2. The first is now called KRUG Grande Cuvée (the only one we recreate each year) whereas the second is the expression of a particular year, for example KRUG 2004.
  • KRUG Rosé, created by my father, a nonconformist rosé, delicate and elegant, that pairs very well with many dishes.
  • KRUG Clos Du Mesnil and KRUG Clos d’Ambonnay, two specialized Champagnes, fruit of a single vineyard and just one grape variety (one Chardonnay, the other Pinot noir).

Most are sold at the SAQ and available in certain gourmet restaurants in Quebec.

Where are your Champagnes popular outside France and Quebec?

They are appreciated throughout Europe, of course, and also in the United States and in Japan, which has become one of our leading markets.

You are very active on social media. How has the brand evolved in recent years?

Our brand has made the shift toward digital and social media. It is very modern, vibrant, connected to the world. Since 2012, we’ve been offering something that no one else does—each bottle has a “KRUG ID.” Customers can search the number online to discover the entire history of the bottle: the date it received its cork, its blend, how our cellar master Éric Lebel created it. They will find serving tips, music pairing suggestions, and more. As for me, I have a very strong relationship with our social media audience. I like to tell stories, share important moments. Social media is a powerful tool for spreading the message of House of Krug all over the world.

Since 1971, National Bank has been acquiring artwork to expose nationwide in its offices, branches and subsidiaries. With over 7,000 original works, National Bank has the largest corporate art collection in Canada. Here’s an inside look, with curator Jo-Ann Kane.

Describe National Bank’s collection in a few words.

Our collection represents the history of Canadian art, from 1895 to now. It includes paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, photographs and digital works. Without naming any names, I can say that our collection includes works from both up-and-coming and well-known artists.

What is the goal behind the collection?

First off, we want to create both a stimulating workplace for our employees and a welcoming environment for our clients. More importantly, we want to encourage local artists. Acquiring artwork is a direct way to support Quebec and Canada’s visual arts community.

What criteria do you apply to your acquisition decisions?

The artist must be recognized by his or her peers, have at least ten years of experience and have shown work in well-known galleries.


What is the acquisition process?

I propose selected works to the acquisition committee. This committee meets three or four times a year and is responsible for making final decisions.

Outside of National Bank offices and branches, where can we see works from the collection?

We do a lot of outreach with our artwork. You’ll find it displayed with descriptive texts in public places where National Bank clients can see it. We also post Instagram stories about the collection to make certain works more accessible and we regularly lend pieces from our collection to museums across Canada. It is always a pleasure to lend works out so that they reach as many people as possible.


Several works from the National Bank private collection will be shown at the Papier Contemporary Art Fair in Montréal.


Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: Patrick Bernatchez, À la recherche du jour d’après, 2012 © Christian Perreault Photographe – Ed Pien, Dream Land, 1999-2010 © Christian Perreault Photographe

To read

The scent of spring

Three women cross North America in pursuit of lilacs in bloom. Their desire to live in an everlasting spring keeps them on the road, leaving one town as soon as the flowers begin to fade and arriving in the next right before they open. Every night, they tell stories, slowly revealing their secrets, their pasts and their humanity. An enchanting novel from the author of Songs for the Cold Heart.


La route du lilas by Éric Dupont – Éd. Marchand de feuilles


A moral story

Magalie is a 40-year-old kitchen designer. She lives with Mathieu, the father of their daughter. He is having an affair. So is she. A family connection leads her to Guillaume, a police officer and single father. Months of revelations and intrigue ensue, and their lives are turned upside down. Nadine Bismuth’s sardonic tone, graceful humour and elegant prose invite us to consider our existence in an era where kitchen decor has taken on an importance once reserved for the salvation of our souls.


Un lien familial by Nadine Bismuth – Éd. Boréal


Virtual reality

The narrator grows up in front of the television in the 70s, captivated by stars like Olivia Newton-John. She loses herself in the images, taking refuge from a harsh family reality involving an alcoholic father and an unhappy mother. Eventually, she wants nothing more than to be an image. She cuts ties with her family and earns enough money to devote herself to her quest for the image of perfection, embodied by an avatar called Anouk. When she finds out her mother has terminal cancer, she must rebuild her relationship with her parents. A futuristic fable about the power of images.


De synthèse by Karoline Georges – Éd. Alto


Becoming who you are

Rose-Aimée Automne T. Morin lost her father when she was 16. Before dying of cancer, he made it his mission to give her the tools she’d need to become a self-assured, self-centred, cultured and pot-stirring feminist—a woman with better things to do than apologize. At 30, the author found herself looking back on how a personality and values were imposed upon her during this period of crisis. This personal essay is a reflection on the construction of her “self” and the legacy of her childhood.


Ton absence m’appartient by Rose-Aimée Automne T. Morin – Éd. Stanké


Coffee Table Books

Re(discover) women artists

From Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi, to modern artists Sonia Delaunay and Frida Kahlo, and contemporary greats like Yoko Ono, Orlan and Sophie Calle, this book takes a passionate look at 50 women artists. Delving into art history archetypes and codes, Laure Adler and Camille Viéville use artworks to analyze women’s movement towards independence and recognition in the art world—a space that has been dominated by men for far too long.


Les femmes artistes sont dangereuses by Laure Adler and Camille Viéville – Éd. Flammarion


Soup’s on!

Josée di Stasio’s latest cook book is entirely dedicated to soup and all things soup. There’s something to fill your home with enticing aromas in every season. True to what we’ve come to expect from di Stasio, the recipes are colourful, healthy, comforting, festive, delicious, waste-conscious—everything but boring! This must-have for foodies includes gorgeous photography by Dominique T. Skoltz.


À la soupe! by Josée di Stasio – Éd. Flammarion Québec


An ode to north-coast beauty

With breathtaking images and poems from 13 local writers, this book is a testament to the deep sense of attachment held for the Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve. Fall under the spell of this little-known and completely unique land.


L’Œil du Québec Réserve de Biosphère Manicouagan-Uapishka – Éd. Sylvain Harvey



Text: Diane Stehle