Celebrate sauvignon on the 5th of May

International Sauvignon Blanc Day (Photo: Wine Marlborough)

It’s International Sauvignon Blanc Day on Friday, May 5 but Wine Marlborough plans to start celebrating the variety that put New Zealand on the world wine map for a full 16 days starting on April 19.

Wineries, tour operators and other local businesses are in the process of putting together a series of activities throughout the 16-day period. A sauvignon HQ in Blenheim’s town centre will provide information on what’s happening with Sauvignon celebrations throughout the region.

General Manager of Wine Marlborough Marcus Pickens thinks it’s one of the most important days for the region to celebrate and to remind people just how important sauvignon blanc is for Marlborough.

“The goal of 16 Days of Sauvignon and International Sauvignon Blanc Day in Marlborough is to get everyone involved in the celebrations and tell the world how great our region is.”

“We make such a unique and distinct style of sauvignon blanc here, so we as an industry are getting together and celebrating for the entire 16 days with different mini events,” said Pickens.

A list of events can be found here at the Wine Marlborough website.

Things you may not know about sauvignon blanc

(from Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz)

  • Origin: Most likely the Loire Valley where it earned a mention in 1534 under the old synonym “Fiers”.
  • One parent of Sauvignon Blanc is Savagnin, although the other is unknown. Savagnin is also a parent of the following grape varieties, making them half-siblings with sauvignon blanc: grüner veltliner, petit manseng, silvaner and verdelho. It might also be a grandchild of pinot noir.
  • In 2009, France had 26,839 ha of sauvignon with the largest planting in Languedoc-Roussillon. In that year New Zealand had 16,205 ha but now (2016) has 21,016 ha.
  • New Zealand is the world’s second largest producer of sauvignon blanc.
  • Austria, the first country to host a sauvignon blanc seminar, had 753ha of sauvignon blanc in 2007.
  • Sauvignon blanc is a parent of cabernet sauvignon (the other parent is cabernet franc).

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