A variety of grape that originated in the South West region of France, the name Sauvignon Blanc came from the word “sauvage” that means “wild” and and “blanc” that means “white”. It traces back its origins to Western France; however research suggests that it may have descended from “savagnin”. Charles Wetmore, founder of Cresta Blanca Winery in the 1880’s brought in the first cuttings of Sauvignon Blanc to California; these were taken from the Sauternes vineyards of Chateau d’Yquem. It was then introduced to New Zealand as an experimental plant that needed to be blended with Muller-Thurgau. New Zealand from there on managed to gain great success by producing this variety in the cool Marlborough region. At this point, not just New Zealand it is also widely planted in France, Chile, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Moldova, South Africa and California.
Sauvignon Blanc Qualities
Sauvignon Blanc is very dry, crisp and has distinctive herbaceous qualities. Experts have used words like “fresh, elegant and dry” for this variety of grape especially from the Loire Valley and New Zealand. The wine does not benefit with aging so it is best consumed young, unlike some wines which develop their taste over time, at times up to fifteen years for example Bordeaux which is made with this variety of grape as a major component. The plant performs fairly well in warmer climates, but not in overwhelming heat. In areas where there is high temperature all year round, usually countries that lie near the equator. In those countries the plant quickly over ripens and Sauvignon Blanc loses its natural essence and taste. The final product becomes very dull and acidic. Over the course of time because of Global Warming, global temperatures have risen unexpectedly causing the farmers to harvest the crop, earlier than expected.
Sauvignon Blanc Regions
The Sauvignon Blanc variety of wine from New Zealand is generally more tropical and has sweet passion fruit characteristics while the one from South Africa are described as having a flinty/mineral like flavor. If we were to define the unique personality of the wine, she is lively, confident and has an attitude furthermore has a sassy and vibrant style. Its popularity around the world proves it to be the best flavored grape. Sauvignon Blanc flavors are also referred to fruits sometimes, melons, pears, pineapple and citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemon and lime, furthermore if oak is used it gives a toasty and crispy flavor, though you will not find all these flavors in one wine. The wine you try might have only three to four flavors because the end product comes down to the winemaker’s choice and style, although most style variations may also occur on regional basis.
Sauvignon Blanc Pairing
Sauvignon Blanc is a rich flavored wine, with different styles, from minerally wines of Loire to herbaceous, grassy flavor from the Marlborough regions of New Zealand. Its herbaceous quality works best with fresh herbs. Sauvignon Blanc is mostly seen at the beginning of a meal, due to its high acid and fresh style; it is best served with soups, salads and appetizers. Moreover because of its vibrant personality it stands great with goat cheese and yogurt, however any other wine with similar ratio of acidity would not taste great with such food. When Sauvignon Blanc is blended with oak, you can drink it with white meats such as chicken or veal accompanied with creamy sauce, asparagus or peas. Pasta dishes that have a buttery creamy sauce are a great combination. Most commonly Sauvignon Blanc is paired with veggie or spicy dishes or dips, Italian, Thai food such as fish (sushi) and poultry Also Sea food such as salmon, scallops and grilled fish with salsa are another great option.