Between terroirs and flavours: The wine maestros, Aurélien Farrouil and Thibault Delpont

15 February 2024

The world of wine is a multisensory experience where flavors intertwine, arousing all our senses. In the pursuit of the perfect harmony between food and wine, we had the privilege of conversing with two accomplished sommeliers, Aurélien Farrouil from Sources de Caudalie and Thibault Delpont from Sources de Cheverny. Their passion for wine and in-depth knowledge place them at the heart of this gustatory adventure. In this joint interview, they share their perspectives, tasting dreams, and secrets to creating successful food and wine pairings.


First of all, what does wine embody for you?

Aurélien Farrouil: For me, it embodies sharing, passion, discovery and conviviality.
Thibault Delpont: I agree. Sharing includes exchanges with producers and guests, but also passing on expertise and discoveries.


Vines are the original roots of Les Sources de Caudalie and Les Sources de Cheverny. Working there as Head Sommelier must come with a certain responsibility?

A.F.: We have a duty to be ambassadors for the estate, the appellation and the region we represent.
T. D.: Some clients certainly feel more concerned and perhaps expect more from us, but our task remains the same whether a novice or an expert in wines! As an anecdote, the Loire Valley is the exclusive host of Le Romorantin, the favourite variety of François I and his mother, Louise of Savoy.


Tell us about your hotel’s cellar. Its special feature? Its evolution?

A.F.: The Sources de Caudalie cellar highlights Bordeaux vineyards. It is their finest showcase in the midst of its own vines. It is also open to discovering other French wine regions and wines worldwide. It is in constant evolution.
T. D.: The Sources de Cheverny cellar is recent. Since its inauguration in 2020, we have multiplied its references by 10. It now boasts about 600. The wine-list mainly focuses on the Loire and the diversity of its grape varieties, though it also presents wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Alsace, the south-west etc. I now aim to enrich it with more insider vintages. Sourcing is another aspect of our work.


What are the keys to successful pairing?

A. F.: For it to work, you have to play on complicity between flavours. Pairing must reflect the Chef’s cuisine. For me, symbiosis between aromas is the pillar ensuring success. And vice versa. At La Grand’Vigne, Chef Nicolas Masse’s dishes glorify our sumptuous palette of wines.
T. D.: To make our choices, we need to understand the Chef’s cuisine, where he wants to take his guests with each dish. We can head in the same direction as him… or not! Successful pairing can also mean creating a surprise.


Source: Les Sources magazine, 2023