“The farmer’s footprint is the best fertilizer. When the land is well-trodden, the vine will be well-tended, the details not overlooked.”
About the wines, from the winemaker:
Pied à Terre is the realization of a dream and the culmination of 20 years of experience as a professional wine buyer in New York City.
It is my belief that great wine only comes from great grapes, so the farmers I partner with are meticulous and exhaustive. I strive to make wines that are not manipulated – wines that express their place of origin and the vintage; I am not making a mass-produced beverage. In the cellar, my goal is to keep everything Felix Unger-clean and shepherd the wine holistically.
I taste barrel-by-barrel and create hundreds of blends until I find a combination that resonates to my core. That’s when I know the wine is good enough to put in the bottle. That is when I know the wine is delicious – and has soul. I even believe (as not many others do) that at times certain vintages shouldn’t be created at all. For example, the 2011 and 2020 vintages yielded grapes that didn’t meet my standards so I chose not to make a single bottle of wine.
About the Winemaker
Richard loves the world of restaurants, wine and hospitality. This Brooklyn, New York native started as a busboy at the age of thirteen and hasn’t since stopped working in the business of wine and food.
It was when food legend Lidia Bastianich took a chance on Richard, hiring him as Wine Director at her famed New York namesake Felidia Ristorante, that Richard’s knowledge and passion for wine truly took to the stars. Under the watchful and encouraging eyes of Bastianich and Chef Fortunato Nicotra, Richard recalls: “[They] taught me an immeasurable sum about Italian food and wine, which remain my strongest passion today. I developed an appreciation for the art of food and wine pairing.” Felidia won Wine Spectator’s “Grand Award” every year that Richard helmed its program.
Richard went on to head service at Jonathan Waxman’s Washington Park as its General Manager and Wine Director. Its cellar, valued at seven million dollars, garnered Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence” in the restaurant’s first year before achieving the illustrious “Grand Award” the subsequent year. He went on to serve as Wine Director for The Bowery Group’s Cookshop and its three sister restaurants.
As an avid student of wine, Richard is always looking to learn more about new wine regions or the latest technique in agriculture and viticulture, recognizing and accepting that one’s journey of knowledge in wine is never complete. He teaches classes regularly, including a recent wine series at the French Institute Alliance Française. He always hopes to instill his passion and love of wine in others by emphasizing that wine and food can—and should—always bring people together.