In twenty-five plus years of working the floors of some of NYC finest restaurants, Richard Luftig, served hundreds of thousands of bottles of world-class Sancerre Whether it was with Lidia Bastianich at Felidia (where I first met him, the dissertation on the subtleties of the Chianti sub zones while I ate lunch at the bar left my head spinning) or for Stephen Starr at Upland, the world class cuisine coming out of these kitchens demanded high-toned, vibrant white wines, with the right acidity to cut through the fat and richness of so many great dishes. So when Richard embarked on his own wine-making project, Pied à Terre, he decided when it came to Sauvignon Blanc, he wanted to go for the extreme, to make edgy, electric white wine that could rival the best of Sancerre.
Rich sources his Sauvignon Blanc from the Frostwatch vineyard in the sub region of Bennett’s Valley, a cool-climate AVA south of Santa Rosa. It is usually 10 degrees cooler here than other parts of Sonoma, making it really the very edge of where grapes can get fully ripe. But the struggle for ripeness is the secret to the energy, aromatic complexity and length of this wine. Yields are naturally very low here, grapes are tiny and the length of the growing season is much longer than normal, allowing for maximum development of aroma, concentration, and texture.