40 Vintages of Sauvignon Blanc

If it takes 10,000 hours of carrying out a task to be successful in a given field, then Régis Minet is not just an expert, but true master of Sauvignon Blanc. For nearly forty vintages now, Régis has worked with the grape of the appellation of Pouilly Fumé, which by my estimate means he’s put around 70,000 hours into understanding how to cultivate, nurture, pick, ferment, bottle, and market Sauvignon Blanc. Few people in this world may be able to match that level of focus on a single variety and they are probably Régis’ neighbors.

Régis recently launched his first website—regisminet.com—and I recommend you check it out. Like his approach to wine, Régis keeps it simple online.

In person, he’s affable and dynamic, loaded with energy—is it a coincidence you could use those adjectives to describe his wine, too? When he visited the Berkeley shop a few years ago he was in full form. He brought us two things—small fossils that he found in his vineyards, and little rounds of aged Loire goat cheese, covered in a nearly black rind. The cheese and the fossils were nearly indistinguishable. Régis was proud to show off how he brought the unpasteurized and distinctly scented cheese into the US. He had packed the cheese in air-tight bags, then with a permanent marker, wrote the word “pasteurized” on the plastic. “You see, no one asks if you just write pasteurized on the package.” Duly noted.

The fossils had their own aromatic qualities. If you strike two together, the bright smokiness of gunflint emanates. You didn’t have a choice with Régis in the room—everyone was essentially forced to eat the cheese and smell the fossils.

We washed down the pungent cheese as quickly as we could with a glass of Régis’ Pouilly Fumé, but I still have the fossil from his vineyards on my desk—a good reminder to take home a bottle of his wine from time to time.


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