November 24, 2014
LVMH-owned Champagne maker Krug is presenting attendees of the Naples Winter Wine Festival with the rare opportunity to learn about the brand’s cuvées in a tasting seminar led by its cellar master.
Held annually in Florida, the for-charity Naples Winter Wine Festival Jan. 23-25 benefits the Naples Children & Education Foundation, a nonprofit assisting underprivileged children with services and resources. Although the festival has raised more than $123 million for the charity since its inception in 2001, inviting a high-profile expert, such as Olivier Krug, will ensure that affluent attendees continue to buy tickets for the event year-after-year.
"No one can better highlight the tremendous character, taste and history of these exceptional Champagnes than Mr. Krug himself," said Sandi Moran, co-chair of the 2015 Naples Winter Wine Festival and vintner chair for the festival, Naples, FL. "Attendees will have the distinct pleasure of hearing how Mr. Krug and his family have dedicated their lives to creating premiere Champagne.
"To complement Mr. Krug’s seminar, Mr. Galloni’s years of experience and sophisticated palate will provide guests with a unique insight into these Champagnes and the region where they’re grown," she said.
As the cellar master and sixth-generation in the family Champagne business, Mr. Krug is an ideal person to lead festival attendees in a tasting and educational seminar Jan. 22. Held on the day before the festival officially kicks off, the first-ever Krug event will set the stage for the weekend’s festivities and planned experiences.
For the afternoon event, Mr. Krug will be joined by internationally renowned wine critic and founder of Vinous Media, Antonio Galloni. During the tasting seminar, Mr. Galloni will offer commentary and insights about the house of Krug and the Champagne region in general.
During the afternoon event, which begins at 11 a.m., attendees will sample bottles of Krug Champagne with Mr. Krug as he retells the history of his family’s 171-year old maison. One highlight of the seminar will be Krug’s Grande Cuvée, a Champagne blended with more than 120 wines, served in a white wine glass rather than a traditional flute, to better show its notes and qualities.
Olivier Krug of Krug Champange
Following the seminar with Mr. Krug, attendees are invited to a multi-course lunch paired with Krug Champagne at French restaurant Bleu Provence in Naples.
Of his participation, Mr. Krug said, “It is my immense pleasure to return to Naples just one year after being named the Honored Vintner. I hope this year we will contribute even more to the Naples Children & Education Foundation, as well as deepen our connection with all Krug lovers in Naples.”
Tickets for the exclusive Krug tasting are available for $750 per person for those already holding passes to the main festival, or $1,000 per person for just the single event.
Throughout the weekend, festival goers will enjoy headline events such as private vintner dinners, pairing with top celebrity chefs and the Naples Winter Wine Festival’s annual live auction. For this year’s auction, the Naples Winter Wine Festival attendees will have the opportunity to bid on lots such as limited-edition automobiles, a trip around the world in a private jet, a chance to attend the Order of the Garter with members of the British royal family and wines not readily available to general consumers. Every dollar raised “under the tent” will go toward the festival’s founding charity the Naples Children & Education Foundation.
Sponsored by, and also hosted at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, weekend packages to the Winter Wine Festival begin at $8,500 per couple. A premier package is available for $20,000 and includes reserved seating for four guests at the vintner dinner.
The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, FL
Additional sponsors include NetJets, The Goldman Sachs Group, BNY Mellon wealth management, private client group Fifth Third Bank, Mirador Family wealth advisors and Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.
Guest of a guest
Krug has staged other tasting events that likely drew scores of interested parties. Selecting an interesting venue to share its Champagnes allows for consumers to have a lasting experience.
For instance, the French Champagne house demonstrated how well its wine pairs with seafood with a dining experience in London.
From Sept. 3-7, LVMH-owned Krug partnered with the then newly-opened London restaurant Beast for the “Krug & Krustacean” tasting menu. By narrowing the scope of the menu, Krug was able to underscore how well its Champagne pairs with foods that may not be immediately associated with the beverage (see story).
Also, Krug celebrated its annual Grande Cuvée blend with a live tasting event in London that married the sound of Champagne bubbles and live orchestra music.
During April 7-11, Champagne and music lovers joined Krug in unveiling its latest recreation of its Grand Cuvée while enjoying the music of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra at The Loading Bay in Shoreditch, London. Creating interesting, culturally-relevant tasting events allows a brand to stay top of mind among new consumers (see story).
The exclusivity of the Winter Wine Festival's programming for 2015 may result in a larger number of Champagne connoisseurs in attendance.
"Anybody can purchase a bottle of Krug Champagne and marvel at the wonderful taste," Ms. Moran said. "But guests at the first-ever Pre-Festival Tasting and Luncheon featuring Krug Champagne will have the privilege of hearing first-hand about the history and craftsmanship of Krug Champagne.
"[Guests] will leave the tasting equipped with a deep knowledge and appreciation for the quality and fascinating history of the House of Krug," she said.
Jen King, lead reporter on Luxury Daily, New York
Krug aligns with charitable cause with wine festival guest spot