C.E.O OF THE HOUSE
BORN IN CARACAS, venezuela
2 sONS AND 4 GRANDCHILDREN
I am a systems engineer with a degree from Harvard and just graduated from SMC University with a PhD in Business Administration . My apprenticeship in wines and Champagnes is the result of 30 years of experience in this fascinating world. I have over 42 years of experience, including 31 of them at the head of companies based abroad. I have managed companies producing and distributing wines and spirits in Venezuela , agri-food products in Mexico, and still and sparkling wines in Argentina. Since 2009, I am very fortunate to be at the head of Maison KRUG in Reims.
I started my career in Venezuela as a systems engineer for 8 years. It allowed me to understand all the inner workings of a business. In 1986, I assumed the role of marketing director of a wine and spirits distribution company . In 1989, I became President of a spirits company, a role that eventually evolved, in 1991, into the President of Seagram Venezuela, a company in which I went through one of the many crises that I have had to endure during my long career . In 1995, after six months of training at Harvard, I moved to Mexico to run a cookie production company, one that was facing serious difficulties, and in a country that was in the midst of a depression. After 18 months, none of the 3,500 employees were laid off and the company returned to positive results. At the end of 2001, I joined the group I continue to work for today and moved to Argentina. I then experienced the deepest of crises that we would successfully overcome . This experience would instill in me a strong relationship with the vineyards, viticulture and terroir. I was able to be a witness and a joyful and enthusiastic participant in the complete transformation of an industry which has been able to reinvent itself to produce wines of international renown. In 2009, in the midst of a global recession, I was asked to join Krug whose situation was complicated. Crises have been very present in my professional life and they have taught me that these moments always reveal extraordinary opportunities.
I am very inspired by the vast opportunities we have in front of us in Champagne . Until today, and for centuries, Champagne has been a symbol of celebration. But the world is moving forward, and we must move forward too, so that we can move consumption from a context of celebration to one of experience .
We need to be able to accompany our consumers as they move towards other moments of tasting, to be able to invite the world to discover Champagne paired to gastronomy as well as to simple moments . And to transform any good moment into a great moment. Getting to see this transformation inspires me.
My vision about the Champagne wine and region
The issues in the vineyards are very inspiring. This house has always followed each vineplot in terms of both tasting and winemaking. For 5 years we have developed digital monitoring to understand the results of our work in the vineyards as well as our tasting dates. For years, we have worked to stop using herbicides and to implement bio-control of the fruit. Since last year, we are studying the nature of the soil of each plot and hope to transmit this approach to all our growers, a community of people that we support in their own certification processes. All of this will allow us to better understand the exact nature of our terroirs.
In addition, we already have the group’s approval to build around the Clos d´Ambonnay the “center for Wine excellence” which will provide ideal conditions for the creation and aging of our wines. So, with more precision, purity and knowledge , we can better understand the terroir of Champagne. Given Krug’s intense knowledge of Champagne’s various terroirs , and the fact that we use the three Champagne grape varieties, we hope that the fruits of this research will benefit the appellation, and thus enable all of us to move forward. This is my dream.
I am also inspired by everything that we can do with our group La Transmission. By working together, and as a diverse group, we know that we are a good representation of this magical region , which is the origin of wines that make people dream. I am inspired by the immense admiration I have for the commitment of the women and men who dedicate their lives to creating great wines. Great wines, like great Champagnes, are the result of a dream , a vision, of transmission, love, patience and respect for people and terroir, sources of the fruit to the origin. Pure inspiration !