Prior to becoming a winemaker, Laurent Saillard led an exciting career in the restaurant industry. He was at one time known as the General Manager on Rocco Dispirito’s reality TV show, The Restaurant, which followed the opening of a new restaurant in NYC. He went on to work at Balthazar and Bouley, before opening one of Brooklyn’s first lo-fi wine bars called iCi.
His exposure to wines through the restaurants and wine fairs eventually brought his interest to winemaking. He moved back to France where he purchased a small plot in Pouillé in the Loire Valley. He was mentored by Noëlla Morantin, who worked the vines neighbouring his. Today he has 6ha of organic vines. Everything is done by hand, and the meticulousness needed to survive the fine-dining scene of New York, is also seen in his approach in the winery and vineyard. He works with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, and Pineau d’Aunis – for which he is particularly proud as it’s hard to come by in this area. Wines are treated minimally and aged in neutral fibreglass vats or old oak.