It’s quite apt that the name Sauvignon derives from Sauvage – the French word meaning wild.
A vigorous and unruly grower, this grape varietal needs a firm hand in taming its boisterous ways in the vineyard. During fermentation Sauvignon Blanc even smells wild, and like a rebellious teenager, demands a balance between undivided attention and letting go.
Regardless of how demanding this varietal is, it rewards us each year with incredibly zesty and aromatic wines.
Although Sauvignon Blanc prefers a cooler climate our vineyards are planted on the southern slopes of our Wellington valley at 400m above sea-level. Sheltered from the heat which our town is so well known for, the vineyards enjoy cooler night temperatures – essential for the slow ripening of the grapes and the development of concentrated flavours.
This year, we harvested the grapes two weeks later than normal, preserving the characteristic greener, tropical fruit flavours. And the flavours are certainly not tame! We are blessed to receive the bulk of our Sauvignon Blanc grapes from a fifth-generation grape producer – one simply can’t emphasise the incredible knowledge and legacy passed down over the years.
Sauvignon Blanc’s flavour profile is lively, racy, herbal and tart-like. These wild, upfront flavours and acidity core, stands up to spicy and assertive dishes as one would have anticipated. Think goats’ cheese, smoked salmon and sushi and other raw fish, tomato-based soup, salads drizzled in a tangy vinaigrette dressing, and Thai dishes.
On 7 May the world celebrates Sauvignon Blanc day. Why not take the time (or the month!) to enjoy the wonderful, wild flavours of this celebrated grape varietal. The magnitude of flavours might just surprise and inspire you to fascinating conversations, creative meals and adventurous moments.
Cheers to Sauvignon Blanc!
Erik van Wyk – Winemaker