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Master Winemakers Top 100: Cédric Thiébault

Cédric Thiébault, cellar master at Champagne Besserat de Bellefon, features as one of our top winemakers in this year’s Master Winemaker 100 guide. He tells db about connecting to nature, mathematical mishaps and how he hates the idea of the “normal”.

A native of Champagne, Cédric Thiébault studied oenology in Reims before honing his winemaking skills in both Beaujolais and Cerdon in the Auvergne. Returning home to Champagne, he joined Besserat de Bellefon in 1999 as a quality manager and, by 2006, had been promoted to the role of cellar master. Favouring pure aromas that remain true to the Besserat house style, Thiébault eschews malolactic fermentation with the aim of creating wines of greater tension, more ageing potential and a finer, more aromatic character.

His Besserat de Bellefon Rosé Brut NV won a Master medal at the Champagne Masters 2023.

Describe your winemaking approach in no more than three words.

Elegance. Simplicity. Purity.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Responding to questionnaires!

Which aspect of the job keeps you awake at night?

Human relationships.

What’s your go-to drink at the end of a long day?

Sparkling water!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Do what you like”, and “‘normal’ is our worst enemy”.

What was your greatest winemaking mistake?

A dose of sulphur multiplied by 10 during my National Diploma in Oenology training.

What’s the most important winemaking lesson you’ve learned so far?

The quest for balance during blending.

Which figure outside the world of wine inspires you?

Canadian astrophysicist Hubert Reeves.

Where would your fantasy vineyard be?

In a fjord.

If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you be doing and why?

I would be a market gardener or forest manager, because it is in nature that I feel best.

What’s the most memorable food match you’ve had with one of your wines?

Clams with an old, higher-dosage rosé on the Île de Ré.

What role does sustainability have to play in a Master-winning wine?

Respect for the environment seems to me to be the most important aspect of our profession, because we must preserve our resources and our terroir to produce respectful and consistent wines.

Which type of wine do you drink most regularly?


Your home is on fire: which bottle do you save?

None of them.

What are your top three markets and importers?

USA (Winesellers)

UK (Cask Liquid Marketing)

Japan (La Languedocienne)

And which market would you most like to enter?

Hong Kong.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No