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Sauvignon blanc, loved and maligned, but who makes the best? | Britt on Forbes

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular grape varieties in the world. With 123,000 hectares it is in fact the third most planted white variety in the world, after the Spanish grape Airen (218,000 hectares) and Chardonnay (210,000). France has the biggest plantings, followed by New Zealand, Chile and South Africa.

It is a grape you love to have at a blind tasting because its distinctive aromatic character is easy to recognize. It is in many ways a cool climate grape but it does well also in warmer climates too, for example Chile and South Africa, although the style then changes a bit and the aromatic character is more subdued. But many other things can change the style of a Sauvignon Blanc.

We met with Rebecca Gibb, Master of Wine and author of a recently published book about New Zealand, to discuss different styles of Sauvignon blanc and the New Zealand one in particular. She also did a masterclass whose themes was can any other country challenge France when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc? Well, it turned out yes!

Read more on this in Britt’s article on Forbes: Who Is King Of Sauvignon Blanc, France Or New Zealand?

Just harvested Sauvignon Blanc

Just harvested Sauvignon Blanc, copyright BKWine Photography

Here’s the introduction:

One of the most satisfying wines to taste blind is Sauvignon Blanc. Its aromatic character is easy to recognise. It is also a wine that is loved by many all over the world, often in a refreshing, aromatic, easy-drinking style. But is there more than it being a pool-side drink to Sauvignon Blanc? Some certainly think so. There are very ambitious wines made in France, for example Sancerre and white Bordeaux, and also in New Zealand, a country that has almost built all its international reputation on this grape.

We talked to one of the experts in the field to find out if this grape can make great wines and who, then, is the leader of the pack.

Wine Paris, the brand-new Paris wine exhibition, took place during three days in February. Among the many master classes on offer were one with Rebecca Gibb, Master of Wine and Sauvignon Blanc specialist. She has lived for six years in New Zealand, the New World country specialized in this grape variety. She started by asking an intriguing question: Is France still number one in the world of Sauvignon blanc?

Despite the fact that Sauvignon Blanc is an immensely popular grape, it is often overlooked by the wine consumer looking for high-quality wines. Sauvignon Blanc is by many not considered as noble as for instance Riesling or Chardonnay. But, says Rebecca Gibbs, “there is greatness in Sauvignon blanc”.

Read more on this in Britt’s article on Forbes: Who Is King Of Sauvignon Blanc, France Or New Zealand?

You can explore and experience the excellence of Sauvignon Blanc wines on BKWine’s wine tour to New Zealand, and the more luscious warm climate versions on  the wine tour to South Africa, or even the BKWine tour to Chile and Argentina, or the more classic version of Sauvignon Blanc on the wine tour to Bordeaux.

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Rebecca Gibb at WineParis on Sauvignon Blanc

Rebecca Gibb at WineParis on Sauvignon Blanc, copyright BKWine Photography

Les Monts Damnés in Sancerre, copyright BKWine Photography

Les Monts Damnés in Sancerre

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