The World of Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wines in the world, many love the acidic zing and freshness found in this unique grape. But what may come as a surprise is that Sauvignon Blancs are actually produced using varying styles based on region. Here is an overview of a few key countries and wine regions producing unique versions of this wine:
Whether you may know it or not, you probably have had New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It is the most popular and even more specifically, Marlborough is most famous for its Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Although many other regions are also starting to gain popularity, the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is best known for its high acidity and unique aromas like passion fruit, lime, and bell pepper. It is also generally the most herbaceous style of Sauvignon Blanc on the market.
The original home of Sauvignon Blanc is nowhere other than France. It is primarily grown within two regions of France: The Loire Valley and Bordeaux. Within The Loire Valley, there are several subregions, or appellations producing unique cool climate styles of Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Sancerre is the most famous subregion and its classic style produces aromas like gooseberry, grapefruit, and lime. Compared to other countries, Sauvignon Blancs from this region generally has more of a mineral and citrus note. Another unique subregion is Pouilly-Fumé where Sauvignon Blanc is aged in oak barrels giving it a rounder and richer mouthful. Last but definitely not least is the Cheverny region, which is an interesting technique where winemakers commonly blend Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay producing a slightly richer taste with more floral notes.
Bordeaux is the other region of France primarily producing Sauvignon Blanc wines. While most people associate Bordeaux with red wine, there is plenty of great white wine to be found. To make White Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc grape is either left as a single varietal or blended with the grape Sémillon and on rare occasions the grape, Muscadelle. Then it’s aged in oak barrels similar to Pouilly Fumé producing aromas of lemongrass, white peach, and beeswax. Compared to The Loire Valley, you’ll find Bordeaux wine more rich and less acidic.
Another interesting style of Sauvignon Blanc comes from California, especially in Napa and Sonoma. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown here tend to get very ripe in the strong California sunshine. This makes the wine less herbal but with more fruit notes, especially tropical. On the other coast, the the Finger Lakes in New York are also starting to produce some high quality examples of Sauvignon Blanc.
In addition to these three countries, there are plenty of other regions producing great examples of Sauvignon Blanc. A few other countries worth keeping an eye out for are Chile, South Africa, Italy, and Australia. These countries can vary in the styles they produce depending on sub regions the grapes are grown. At
At Mai Vino, we love finding unique wines from unique regions to share. Chile has a long history in winemaking and its Sauvignon Blanc is unique in that it straddles the line between a New Zealand and Loire style wine.
As a result, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is less herbal than New Zealand but more fruity than the Loire.
The world of Sauvignon Blanc is vast and can be a ton of fun exploring. It's a never-ending quest to find the best Sauvignon Blanc on the market! Try the varieties out yourself at Mai Vino and see if you can spot the differences. A great starting point might be our Chilean Sauvignon Blanc which is made with 100% organic grapes. We add our own unique spin to it by blending it with 15% dry Riesling which adds minerality to the Sauvignon Blanc’s tropical fruit flavors.