Vine varieties: Sauvignon Blanc

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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The sustained increase in Sauvignon Blanc plantings and production (2,334 tonnes in 1995, 43,107 tonnes in 2004, and 98,212 tonnes in 2013) may come as a surprise to those who dislike the wine, mentally relegating it to second rank, but Sauvignon Blanc is now Australia’s second most widely planted white variety. It will be no less surprising to viticultural economists who look at the price/quality competition from New Zealand and, in particular, Marlborough. One explanation is that Marlborough’s success (supplying several of Australia’s most popular wines) has engendered greater interest in and demand for the wine in both domestic and international markets. It also seems that the various interpretations of style (from cold-fermented in stainless steel and early bottled through to complex barrel-fermented wines with a splash of Semillon) all find their mark. The number of producers grows week by week, the apparently insatiable market demand pointing to increased plantings in the years ahead.