Updated: Jun 28, 2021
Do you know what the most popular wine in the United Kingdom is?
Hmmmm, it must be from France, right?
No? Italy? California?
Actually, it is Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand!
When people think of wine from New Zealand the first style to come to mind is often Sauvignon Blanc. This isn’t surprising, when you learn that Sauv/ Sauvvie, as most Kiwis call it, is easily New Zealand’s most planted variety. In fact, 73% of all production in New Zealand is Sauv, and a massive 86% of the country’s wine exports.
It was first planted in New Zealand in 1973, and it has truly found a home there. So much so that many people consider Kiwi Sauv to be the best in the world. Because of this, even France, where the grape originally came from, has tried to copy our style!
Sauv is grown in most of the country, but the most famous region is Marlborough (pronounced Marl-b’rah in Kiwi English!). If you look at a map of NZ you can find Marlborough at the top of the South Island. Sauv from this region is usually very fresh and lively, with great acidity and a tropical fruit character. It has an amazing fragrance of passionfruit, capsicum, tomato leaf and cut grass. These Sauvs are some of the most recognisable wines on the planet. When you smell it for the first time you will see what I mean.
Because of these characteristics, Marlborough Sauv can be very refreshing, and is also fairly easy to understand. If you want to learn about Kiwi wine, you should start here. It can be a good gateway wine Then you can see for yourself why so many people think of it like it is THE New Zealand wine.