Sauvignon Blanc probably originated in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France and was well known by the Seventeenth Century. Sauvignon Blanc is a major variety in the Bordeaux region of France and in the Sancerre and Pouilly regions in the eastern Loire Valley of France. It is an important grape in Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, where it is the signature variety, and in the United States, especially California. In a classic marketing ploy, Robert Mondavi, the famous California winemaker called this variety Fumé Blanc when he very successfully popularized it in the 1960s.
Sauvignon Blanc is grown in all regions of Italy, where it is often called Sauvignon. It is vinified into many different styles. Arguably the best Italina examples are found in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige regions of northern Italy and the Tuscany region of central Italy.
Tastes associated with Sauvignon Blanc include straw, herbs, gunflint, citrus fruit, gooseberries. Negative tastes that arise when Sauvignon Blanc wines are unsuccessfully processed include vegetables, such as green peppers, and, you guessed it, pipi de chat (cat pee).
In France, Sauvignon Blanc grapes may be found in the world-famous Sauternes and Barsac dessert wines, in which the major grape variety is Semillion. Sauvignon Blanc brings body, color, and bouquet to this marriage oft made in heaven. It is also used in the dry white wine of the adjacent Graves region. Unlike most other white wines, Graves vintages may be aged up to a dozen years. Unblended Sauvignon Blanc can produce the famous Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire wines that have a very different, acidic, fruity taste.
Follows, by region, a list of all DOC is allowed where the use of this vine.
- Tortona hills: in blends
- Cortese Alto Monferrato: blend in
- Langhe: alone or in blends
- Monferrato: alone or in blends
- Garda and Garda Classico: pure
- Garda Colli Mantovani: pure
- Oltrepò Pavese: alone or in blends
- Trentino: pure
- Alto Adige (also subdenomination Terlano): pure
- Bagnoli and Bagnoli di Sopra: in blends
- Breganze: blend in
- Berici Hills: blend in
- Colli di Conegliano: blend in
- Hills Hills: blend in
- Lison Pramaggiore: blend in
Friuli Venezia Giulia
- Karst: pure
- Colli Orientali del Friuli: alone or in blends
- Collio and Collio Gorizia: pure
- Friuli Annia: alone or in blends
- Friuli Aquileia: pure
- Friuli Grave: alone or in blends
- Friuli Isonzo or Isonzo del Friuli: alone or in blends
- Friuli Latisana: pure
- Bolgheri: alone or in blends
- Colli Etruria Centrale: blend in
- Colline Lucchesi: in blends
- Monte Carlo: in blends
- Montescudaio: blend in
- Sant'Antimo: blend in
- Bosco Eliceo: alone or in blends
- Colli Bolognesi (even sub-denominations): pure
- Colli di Faenza: alone or in blends
- Colli di Imola: blend in
- Colli di Parma: Pure
- Colli di Canossa Scandiano: alone or in blends
- Colli Piacentini: alone or in blends
Abruzzo and Molise
- Molise: blend in
- Castel del Monte: pure
- Lizzano: blend in
- Salice Salentino: blend in
- County Sclafari: pure
- Contessa Entellina: alone or in blends
- Delia Nivolelli: pure
- Alghero: alone or in blends
Viticulture and winemaking
Vigorous plant, needs a good pruning to avoid excessive vegetative. In Italy, even today, the best Sauvignon produced in Friuli and Alto Adige, and almost all of them are aged in steel.
It has medium leaf, round, three-lobed or five-lobed, deep green, medium-small clusters, cylindrical, winged, compact, medium-large berries, sub-round, with thick golden-green and dotted skin.
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