Sauvingon Blanc

Classic aromas of Sauvignon Blanc are: Lime, Passionfruit, Kiwifruit, Green Grass and Green Capsicum


Sauvignon Blanc is white grape variety from France. The earliest mention was in 1534 in Bordeaux. Sauvignon Blanc is a sibling to Chenin Blanc, and along with Cabernet Franc is the parent to Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sauvignon Blanc is made in three main styles; a) Bordeaux Blanc – a blend with Semillon that is often aged in oak, b) Sancerre and Pouilly Fume – a solely Sauvignon Blanc wine that is restrained with white and citrus fruits flavours, and c) the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc-style – a style that capitalises on green, herbaceous and tropical flavours.

France is home to both the Bordeaux Blanc blend, based in Bordeaux, and Sancerre and Pouilly Fume styles that are produced in the Loire Valley. In total France has 26,839ha of Sauvignon Blanc, which makes it the third most planted white variety. Bordeaux is home to 7,117ha of it making both the Bordeaux Blanc blend into dry wines as well as the sweet wines of Sauternes. The Loire Valley has over 5,000ha spread across the top regions of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, but with majority of plantings in the larger areas (now produced more in a New Zealand style) in regions like Touraine.

Sauvignon Blanc is so important in New Zealand that it makes up practically the whole vineyard area of the nation. It amounts to about 95% of the total - 18,000ha in total, just short of 16,000ha are in the Marlborough.

California is one of the more famous regions of Sauvignon Blanc wines that are heavily oaked – aptly named a Fume Blanc, a wine style that started with Robert Mondavi. This has lead to practically all regions in California having Sauvignon Blanc plantings amounting to 6,235ha.

Australia has also attempted to mimic the ever-famous Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc style producing Sauvignon Blanc in bulk all over Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra and Yarra Valley. Though the best examples of Sauvignon Blanc come from Western Australia where highly regarded Sauv/Sem white blends are produced. In total it makes up 6,405ha making it the 3rd most planted white grape variety.

Many other wine producing countries have Sauvignon Blanc plantings en masse due to the ease of production. South Africa and Chile are particular favourites on the Sauvignon Blanc production, they have 9,155ha and 7,922ha respectively.

Sauvignon Blanc produces wines that are dry, high in acidity and have light bodies. The up-front Marlborough style has classic aromas of lime, passionfruit, “cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush” and kiwifruit. California and Chile will give riper flavours of pineapple, guava, peach, nectarine and melon. Sancerre, or a more restrained style, produce wines with more lemon, grapefruit and green apple flavours.

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