With Sauvignon Blanc Day just around the corner, I thought it would be a great idea for the blog to get a little Savvy! Therefore I have invited along the lovely Lisa from The Sisters Wine in New Zealand to share with us some info on what makes NZ Sauv Blanc so great! Enjoy guys!
Sauvignon Blanc evokes passion! And we’re not talking Fifty Shades of Grey here, so don’t get your panties in a twist. We’re just saying that of all the amazing wine varietals out there to discover, Sauvignon Blanc has become the new ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) club for some. Yikes! You know, those people that really LOVE this wine style and those that run a mile before they let a drop pass their lips – we pity those fools. Why? Because there is genuinely so much to love about Sauvignon Blanc and if you think you know everything there is to know, well think again coz this beauty has really just begun to amaze and delight.
With its origins in France, you would think that the Loire, the traditional home of Sauvignon Blanc, known as Sancerre locally, would be responsible for the popularity of this vibrant wine varietal. However, this is not the case. Sauvignon Blanc, especially New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and specifically Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has captured the imagination of wine lovers around the world. It’s big, powerful expression with passionfruit, citrus and fresh herb aromas and flavours make it unmistakable!
New Zealand burst on the international scene in the 1980s with an extravagantly forceful, fruity style of Sauvignon Blanc and has never looked back. It landed New Zealand on the international wine stage. Even though New Zealand produces just 1% of the world’s wine, it reigns as the “Sauvignon Blanc capital of the world”. It is home to nearly 21,000 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc vines.
A Day in Celebration of Sauvignon Blanc
Annually in May, the world of wine lovers passionate about this grape celebrate #sauvblancday. This year here in New Zealand, one day just wasn’t enough. Thanks to the teams at Wine Marlborough and New Zealand Winegrowers, International Sauvignon Blanc Day celebrations began on the 19th of April in the heart of New Zealand’s Wine Country, with ’16 Days of Sauvignon’. The celebrations will culminate on the 5th of May, 2017 in a big day out at Sauvignon Blanc HQ. You can follow all the action through their Instagram feed.
Vibrant, Fresh and Full of Zest
So what can you expect from this show stopping expression of Sauvignon Blanc? The principal flavours you will find in any glass of Sauvignon Blanc are lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. Depending on the region where the wine is produced the ‘zest’ factor will be more pronounced. This is typical of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The Wall Street Journals’ wine columnist Will Lyons described it as:
Packed full of energy, like an electrical current running across your tongue with a real zippy zing!”
Now can you see why it evokes such passion?
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Regions
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is broadly divided into two main regional styles:
- Northern (Hawkes Bay and further north) – Northern Sauvignon Blanc styles tend to be riper and richer with melon, nectarine and other stone fruit flavours.
- Southern (the South Island and Wellington regions) – Southern Sauvignon Blanc styles are typically lighter and crisper with passionfruit and other pungent fruit flavours as well as red pepper (capsicum), gooseberry and herbal characters.
Here is an excellent map from wine blogger Madeleine at Wine Folly which showcases the 7 Regions That Define New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc loves food!
I mean, wine alone is a pleasure to enjoy, but a great food and wine match, well that is always sublime. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc makes this almost fool-proof! Its ‘zing’ is a delectable complement to seafood, shellfish, and white fish. Below is a handy infographic put together by the team at New Zealand Winegrowers to illustrate food and wine matching tips for Sauvignon Blanc.
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc- Where to from here?
In 2016, Marlborough hosted the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration. Held across three days, it shone the spotlight on the complexity of Sauvignon Blanc and some emerging styles. It highlighted regional variations and the diversity that is on offer from New Zealand. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc disrupted the wine world from the beginning. As OZ Clark pointed out in his opening address at SB 2016:
“I know exactly when I first discovered that Sauvignon Blanc has a sense of place. My world of wine would never be the same again. Nobody’s world of wine would ever be the same again!”
The New Zealand wine industry will continue to excite and delight through this flagship varietal. Already across the region, winemakers are producing Sauvignon Blanc aged in oak and blends are also becoming more popular. There is no doubt that the passion and innovation of the New Zealand wine industry will continue to excite and delight the world of wine. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Author Bio: The Sisters Wine – Our Story
So who are we? We are a bit of a new kid on the block, but our wines are made from vineyards that are entrenched in Marlborough history. Owned by Lawson’s Dry Hill Wine Company, these wines are delicious and appealing, made to enjoy with laughter in great company. The Sisters Wine was born from an innate understanding of women’s hectic lives. We are all about celebrating what we achieve and the girlfriends who are right there beside us. We are wine for women who do extraordinary things, every day.
It has been a joy and pleasure sharing our love of Sauvignon Blanc with all of you. Thanks to Casey for the opportunity. We’ll look forward to meeting some of you hopefully on the social webs celebration #sauvblancday. For now, we’ll sign off and say goodbye. In the meantime follow your passion. Hopefully, that will lead you to a fabulous chilled glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.