Profile: Francois Thibault
05.05.2017

Profile: Francois Thibault

Born to a family of winemakers, Thibault’s destiny in the wine and spirits industry was

sealed from a young age. Thibault grew up surrounded by vines in the charming town of

Pérignac located in the heart of France’s Cognac region, imbued by the eponymous elixir.

Thibault went to college at the University of Bordeaux II and graduated with a degree in

winemaking in 1982.

 

Like many of his peers, Thibault went on to apprentice at the venerable Cognac house

H.Mounier under the guidance of a Maître de Chai. He learned the intricacies of distilling

and the tricks on how to give a spirit the qualities that differentiate it from other

Cognacs. After seven years spent mastering the art of creating the world’s best cognacs,

Thibault was honored with the title of Maître de Chai.

 

But the traditional world of Cognac did not satisfy his creative spirit. When a legendary

spirits importer approached Thibault about creating the first super-premium vodka in

1997, Thibault jumped at the opportunity. Thibault put his considerable spirits-making

skills into the alchemy of creating the world’s best vodka. The pair decided to use the

finest soft winter wheat from the Picardy region of France, the country’s breadbasket.

But the heart of Grey Goose is still in Cognac where the wheat is sent to a dedicated

distillery and blended with spring water before being filtered through limestone in the

town of Gensac-La-Pallue.

 

Thibault’s choice was initially met with a great deal of skepticim since vodka had never

been produced in France. However, Thibault and Frank’s hunch that they could leverage

France’s esteemed culinary history and rich soil was correct and Grey Goose has since

become a household name. The cultural tradition of craftsmanship that Thibault learned

over the years enables him to oversee every step of the production of Grey Goose in

order to achieve an exceptional quality. Today, Grey Goose is the only vodka in the world

that directly calls on the expertise and passion of the cellar master.