Sauvignon Blanc is a light to medium-bodied fruit driven wine, whose flavor profile is driven more by its Terroir than its winemaker. Simply put, place matters, particularly the soil in which the grapes are grown in. Albeit warmer fermentations in the old world put less emphasis on the fresh fruit nuances as compared to what the new world tends to produce using cooler fermentations. For example, Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc will show more mineral or gravelly notes, Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé (Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc) will show more lemon-ness, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc will be more grass, and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc will show more grapefruit, lemon-grass, gooseberry and thyme elements. Sauvignon Blanc almost never sees oak instead mainly using stainless steel fermentation/aging. So unlike Fumé Blanc (California Sauvignon Blanc that is oak influenced), the wine truly shows its varietal character based on where it’s produced. In an episode of Wine Inside Out TV, we featured New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc because of its mass appeal. About 33% of New Zealand’s plantings are Sauvignon Blanc of which 67% are planted in Marlborough. Within Marlborough, the most diversity of flavors can be found in a sub-region called the Wairau River Valley (Why-ra-ow). The maritime climate of New Zealand allows for a long and steady growing season for the grapes to ripen, develop a natural balance of acids and sugars, and bring out the flavors. Sandy soil over slate soil also provides rapid soil drainage and poor fertility, encouraging the vine to concentrate its flavors in lower yields. Geek note. Sauvignon Blanc is well suited for cool maritime climates or cooler areas in warm climates because the grape buds late and ripens early. So an objective of every vineyard is to minimize the risk of Spring frost and Autumn rain. Sauvignon Blanc is also a vigorous vine, and so shoot devigoration and/or drip irrigation is often needed to minimize yield to maximize quality.