New Zealand’s terroir has been sculpted by the four elements which converge on its wild coastal trails ruled by water and wind and its untamed volcanoes where earth and fire merge to create unique lands as fiery as the passion that drives the island’s adventurous winemakers.
As they discovered in the seventies, Sauvignon Blanc made herself at home in this landscape and in less than four decades, the variety became New Zealand’s flagship wine, making up to 72% of the country’s total production and 85% of its wine exports.
To celebrate Sauvignon Blanc Day this 6th of May, we will uncork four different kiwi Sauv Blancs, so grab a glass and join us for a zesty taste!
Named after the tree native to the country, it is made by a boutique winery in Renwick, which works with carefully selected grapes from old vineyards located in the Wairu Valley, one of Marlborough’s best soils.
Medium bodied and lemonade coloured, the best feature of this wine is how aromatic it is: a grapefruit base gains complexity thanks to a hint of grass and wild flowers.
The palate, although a bit more docile, is still quite structured and fruit dominated with mineral undertones. A wonderful companion for shellfish.
This award-winning white from the Marlborough region is the creation of winemaker Jane Hunter, regarded as the First Lady of New Zealand Wine.
It is more voluptuous than most sauv blancs, and it also has a slightly higher alcohol content than many, but it retains its lightness and shines with the characteristic pale straw tone of the variety. On the palate, it expresses a familiar crispiness and a fruity profile that leans more towards starfruit and passionfruit than to grapefruit and citrus, though they’re still there. It comes up strongly but never aggressive and it will be a lovely match for a dish with fatty white fish, scallops or mussels.
Clean and fresh, think of a walk over a sunny New Zealand beach to get a feeling of the pleasant sea breezy note that combines with zesty aromas of grapefruit and lime and gains complexity thanks to the feminine touch of elderflowers.
This wine is made from privileged grapes harvested from a single vineyard owned by the McDonald Family in the Wairau Valley, an area said to have one of the finest soils within Marlborough.
It is a beautiful picnic wine, and fine enough by itself or accompanied by grilled vegetables or lightly seasoned fish dishes.
North Island Sauvignon Blancs benefit from a milder and warmer climate, hence it is usual to find riper, fruitier expressions, compared to Southern Marlborough. Man O’War wines come from the Waiheke Island and their Sauvignon Blanc comes from old vineyards planted on volcanic hilltops where the sea breeze and the sun extend their season and give the wine a remarkable minerality.
The acidity of this white blend is toned down by the touch of plump Semillon, which also gives it a pale golden appearance. The fruitiness of it reminds of gooseberries and nectarines, and there is a gentle hint of nuttiness and toasted flavours that adds to its structure and elegance.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.