This now world famous and extremely popular grape variety is native to the Loire Valley, where it excels in Pouilly Fume and Sancerre. It has been so successful that Bordeaux to the southwest has adopted it, and now several other French wine regions (think Languedoc) plant it.
Outside of France, northern Italy, New Zealand, California, Ontario, Chile, Australia, and South Africa produce significant quantities of sauvignon blanc wines offering a range of flavours at a bewildering cornucopia or price points.
Sauvignon blanc is one of the parents of cabernet sauvignon, now one of the world’s most popular red grape plantings. The other parent is cabernet franc. The natural cross is a wonderful gift to wine lovers worldwide.
Sauvignon blanc smells and tastes different pending on where it grew – in South Africa it smells and tastes distinctly of gooseberries, whereas the Loire Valley versions tastes of flint.
In New Zealand it may be off dry or completely dry or it may taste of cut grass, lemongrass, or sweet peas.
California versions are more full bodied, and les gooseberry flavoured, but Ontario’s sauvignon blanc wines tend to be dry, succulent, and smell more of gooseberries and freshly mowed grass.
Chile’s sauvignon blancs are generally dry, “succulent”, with a hint of residual sugar to balance acidity.
In New Zealand, Marlborough is the main region of sauvignon blanc although Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, and Martinborough also have significant acreages.
Breakdown of sauvignon blanc production in selected countries is – 225 million litres, France 189 million, South Africa 108 million, California 72, and Australia 63. Ontario’s sauvignon blanc production amounts to less than 90,000 litres.
North American wine lovers enjoy New Zealand sauvignon blanc due to its pleasant acidity, residual sugar, and overall balance.
Canada and specially Ontario is a lucrative market for New Zealand sauvignon blanc.
Cloudy bay, Craggy Range, Dog Point, Greywacke, Yealands, Kim Crawford, Giesen, Brancott, Oyster Bay, Tohu, Villa Maria, White Hill are only some of the New Zealand wineries L C B O ‘s Vintages division offers throughout the year.
Jolivet, Château Pouilly, Mellot, Domaine Vacheron, Ladoucette, Pascal and Nicolas Reverdy, Henri Bourgeois, Domaine du Nozay, Chateau de Tracy are some of the more popular Loire imports in Ontario.
More Sauvignon Blanc.