You’d be forgiven for thinking that a trip to France would involve an education around wine, champagne or cognac, but in fact, we were there to learn about vodka. After two years of renovation, last week Grey Goose opened the doors to Le Logis, a beautiful 17th century country manor house located in the heart of the Cognac region. Once resided in by the Lords of the area, Le Logis is now the home of Grey Goose, and we accompanied four trade drinks journalists and seven of the UK’s top bartenders to the elegant property befitting of the world’s best tasting vodka.
Our visit began with a welcome from Grey Goose global brand ambassador, the charismatic Joe McCanta, and of course some delicious macaroons washed down with a Grey Goose Le Fizz. Then it was time to explore the grounds, or should I say, head directly to the outdoor swimming pool to enjoy some late afternoon sun. It wasn’t long before our guests were itching to do what they do best though – make cocktails – and the purpose-built mixology room was the perfect environment for them to get creative in.
But it wasn’t all fun and frolics, day two and it was down to business. Hosted by Maître de Chai, François Thibault, the creator of Grey Goose, we started the day with a tour of the vineyards surrounding the property, followed by a tasting session and chance to hear about François’ expertise. After taking us through the unique distillation process of Grey Goose, we were invited to a private tour of the brand’s blending facility to see first-hand just how much goes into the production of the vodka. Then it was back to Le Logis to try our hand at French bread baking using the same soft winter wheat that goes into Grey Goose – perhaps it was the fine ingredients but our baking efforts turned out well!
After a day spent learning about all the craftsmanship that goes into Grey Goose, what better way to top it off than by enjoying a classic dry martini cocktail. But one last treat was still in store as we were invited to taste the soon to be launched ultra-premium Grey Goose VX, made by combining the vodka with drops of fine cognac. It was the perfect end to a very special visit that left all guests feeling as though they’d had a very personal insight into the brand, and we went away honoured to be one of the first to experience this beautiful home.