Wine lovers looking for a crisp, refreshing and straight forward white wine often turn to their favorite bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. The green-skinned grapes trace their origins back to the Bordeaux and Loire Valley of France. The name comes from the French words sauvage (wild) and blanc (white). This hearty varietal ripens early so does quite well in both warm and cool climates. In cooler climate appellations such as the Alexander Valley of California, the wine often has some prominent “green flavors” like lemongrass, lime, and green bell peppers and has a tendency to have noticeable acidity. In warmer climates more tropical fruit notes come forward.
In California the wine has also been marketed by some vintners under the name “Fume Blanc.” It has the distinction of being one of the first wines to be bottled with a screw cap in larger wineries. While the varietal has done well in California, it has also continues to thrive in France. It also represents as much as 85% of wine exports from New Zealand where it grows particularly well in the Marlborough region on the northern tip of New Zealand’s south island. In some regions (particularly in France), you will find winemakers blending it with Semillon to create Sauternes. The common pronunciation of Sauvignon Blanc is SOH-vihn-yohn BLAHN. At Gold Medal Wine Club we feature this varietal in our six award-winning Wine Clubs.
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