A few weeks ago, GREY GOOSE invited me on a one of a kind press trip. I got to visit (and record in detail) Le Logis, GREY GOOSE’s home located in the Cognac region of France! The property itself is a 17th century French manor (once home to the lords of the region), with impeccably elegant interiors that depict the brand’s class & style. As for the exterior, grounds carefully planted and landscaped, there are vineyards and a greenhouse with a variety of fruits and herbs from the local countryside.
Everything from the surroundings to the exquisite food and vodka infused cocktails (which I had with great pleasure!) were meticulously refined and designed to create an incredibly sophisticated experience! During our stay, we had the chance to: participate in mixology sessions (I learned how to do a killer Espresso Martini & Le Grand Fizz!), bake French baguettes (still to master this skill…), visit the Cognac region and Chateau de Cognac (and get to see its renowned cellars) and what is more, we had the great honor to get to know all about the GREY GOOSE heritage by François Thibault, Cellar Master and creator of GREY GOOSE vodka!
It was a unique opportunity to hear about the brand’s history from François Thibault – a true visionaire, whose passion and outmost precision to detail constitute the very essence of GREY GOOSE. I was very inspired by his presentation of the GREY GOOSE history, but most of all I was intrigued by his life’s perspective and endless enthusiasm about his work. Throughout the “GREY GOOSE Universe Session”, I kept taking down notes of François Thibault’s quotes, eager to learn as much as I could, and even had the chance to ask him a few questions myself.
This is my diary from the Le Logis experience, GREY GOOSE Heritage and Maître de Chai François Thibault’s eloquent words:
* Tap the links for Le Grand Fizz & Espresso Martini recipes!
Maître de Chai François Thibault
“Nothing can replace the alchemy of time…” – François Thibault
(when talking about the aging of cognac and… life!)
Breakfast table at Le Logis
“If you get pleasure by doing what you love, then I believe there is more chance that the consumer will appreciate the product of your work. Because then, you give more meaning to the quality and history of the product. And several times, what many products are short of, is exactly this: “human touch”.” – François Thibault
Learning about Cognacs and their aging process at Le Logis
Attempting to bake!
“The success of Grey Goose doesn’t allow me to stop innovating, I must be innovative, I have to suprise the consumer, it is not only my role, but my pleasure, as well!” –François Thibault
Mixology Sessions at Le Logis
“So, when I get up in the morning, my first thought is to ask myself: “Can I guarantee consumers the same quality of Grey Goose, today?” This is my first mission of the day. My second one is to focus on what innovation I will be able to propose to consumers the following day, so that I make them experience, to a greater extent, the Grey Goose universe.”
Learning about GREY GOOSE heritage & universe
“… and the third one (if there is any time left) is to really take pleasure in what I do – take advantage of life. For me, it is not really “The Art of Living”, but rather “The Joy of Living!” – Voilà!” – François Thibault
Loved this GREY GOOSE video that depicts in a very accurate and humorous way, how GREY GOOSE came to be!
A few words about François Thibault
François Thibault, Cellar Master, Grey Goose, in Cognac, is the man who dared to take on the astonishing challenge of creating a 100% French luxury vodka! François grew up in the heart of Cognac and was immersed in all aspects of the wine and spirit industry, developing his technical knowledge, and passion through two years of study in Burgundy and a degree in oenology at the University of Bordeaux. He learned how to be a Cellar Master, from a Cellar Master, Grey Goosewith 40 years of experience, who had himself been taught by a Maître de Chai with 40 years of experience. In the mid 1990’s, his highly developed local knowledge, traditional skills, and fascination for innovation and experimentation were channeled into creating GREY GOOSE, a leading vodka worldwide.
Expressed in every bottle is the essence of the nest ingredients from France; soft winter wheat from Picardy and surrounding regions, plus pure spring water from Gensac in the Cognac region, nurtured, isolated, and captured from field to bottle in an exclusive process, designed and controlled by the extraordinary skills and passionate commitment of our Cellar Master, François Thibault. To this day, he oversees the crafting of GREY GOOSE vodka to ensure it lives up to its reputation of exceptional quality.
A few words about GREY GOOSE vodka
There are three key elements at the heart of GREY GOOSE vodka that set it apart from the rest:
Firstly, to make excellent vodka requires determination and skill. The brilliance of GREY GOOSE is designed by the character and expertise of our Cellar Master, François Thibault, honed through his years of crafting the nest spirits.
Secondly, the perfect interaction of soil, climate and man that is found in and around the wheat growing terroir of Picardy. It is this wheat that lies beneath the unparalleled quality of French bread and patisserie, and whose essence is expressed in every bottle of GREY GOOSEE vodka.
And thirdly, GREY GOOSE is created from the ground up through an exclusive process, specially designed and 100% controlled by the Cellar Master, from eld to bottle, not to remove the essence of the wheat, but to cherish it.
That is how you make truly excellent vodka. That is what makes GREY GOOSE worth buying and worth recommending.
* François Thibault photographs are a courtesy of GREY GOOSE
* Video credits: GREY GOOSE