The #SauvBlanc Day celebrates all things Sauvignon Blanc and takes place on May 16th. So in honour of this event, here are five factoids worth knowing about this white grape cultivar.
1. Interest in Sauvignon Blanc is Growing
Google Trends provides a useful measure of gauging interest in a particular term since it can track the volume of searches for that term relative to all searches. In the case of Sauvignon Blanc, searches show a markedly upward trend since 2007 with peak interest occurring just before Christmas each year. Interestingly, Sancerre – arguably one of the most famous Sauvignon Blanc-based wines – shows an almost static search trend over the same period.
2. Increased Interest is Driving More Planting
Between 2000 and 2010, Sauvignon Blanc was second only to Chardonnay as the white cultivar with the largest increase in global vineyard area. Almost all major producing countries have seen sizeable increases in recent years. For example, in California, increased plantings of Sauvignon Blanc throughout the 21st century have given the state a vineyard area that now stands close to its all time high.
3. The Country With the Most Sauvignon Blanc is France …
4. … But New Zealand Has Shown the Largest Recent Increase
In 2000 New Zealand had 2,423 ha of Sauvignon Blanc, meaning the country ranked ninth by vineyard area for this varietal, behind countries such as Australia, Italy and USA. By 2010 the area of Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand had climbed to 16,205 ha and propelled it into second place behind France in the global rankings.
5. Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc has a Justifiable Reputation
So much for the production potential of countries with Sauvignon Blanc, but which countries are producing the best wines from this varietal? This is a more difficult question to answer, relying as it does on individual tastes and preferences. Wine show medal awards are biased because they rarely take into consideration the number of wines which are entered (organisers prefer to keep this information confidential). Nevertheless, the number of medals awarded at an international competitions such as the IWC, can suggest which countries are producing wines of acknowledged high quality. The IWC2014 results suggest that New Zealand’s strong reputation for working with Sauvignon Blanc is thoroughly justified.