It’s International Sauvignon Blanc Day on May 7 and Brett Fullerton, winemaker at Constellation Brands, says there’s no better time to raise a glass of Marlborough’s finest.
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is undisputedly New Zealand’s most famous wine export. Although Sauvignon Blanc is grown throughout the world, the province of Marlborough is its heartland. Located on the South Island of New Zealand, its long and steady cool-climate growing season creates Sauvignons with impressive aromas, distinctive fruit characteristics and extraordinary purity and intensity of flavours.
The varietal has become one of Australia’s favourite imports and Fullerton says the 2020/21 vintage is a corker.
“Great ripening periods during 2020 resulted in fantastic fruit from the region,” he said. “2020 in Marlborough is considered one of those exceptional vintages, so we’re really happy with what’s in the glass and excited by some of our innovation within the no-alcohol, organic and vegan style formats.”
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has become so popular around the global that some winemakers have been struggling to keep up with demand this year.
New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan recently told Stuff NZ there were a record-breaking $2 billion in New Zealand wine exports at the end of last year.
“Exports to our key international markets have increased beyond expectations over the past 18 months, and we saw an increase of 19% for the first four months of the new export year (July to October 2020), on the same time in 2019.”
Fullerton (above) agrees: “We have seen unprecedented global demand for New Zealand wine, particularly Marlborough Sauvignon over the past 12 months. “It’s great to see the appreciation the world has for our varietals.
“COVID-19 has definitely had a hand in changing consumer behaviour. People are drinking more at home which is one major reason why we’re seeing an increase in sales for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The US and Australia are still our biggest markets and we’ve observed growth in both markets, more so in the above $20 per bottle price point.”
Among the innovations in the category from Constellation’s portfolio are STATE OF LIGHT’s Sauvignon Blanc, which is 45% lower in alcohol and 35% lower in calories, making it a great drop for those wanting a glass of wine without worrying about tomorrow.
For the eco-conscious drinker, Round Theory’s Sauvignon Blanc is vegan friendly and sustainably sourced and grown.
If the classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc flavours are more to your taste, Fullerton says you can’t go past Kim Crawford or
Crafters Union. Both are consistently aromatic and refreshing, “making you want to go back for one more glass”.