Which Winery

8 Reasons to Go Green with Sauvignon Blanc

By: Mattie Jackson

8. All the “cool” kids are doing it!

One of Sauvignon Blanc’s most definitively alluring properties, its racy, stiletto acidity, owes just as much to its place of cultivation as it does its inherently late-budding, early ripening vine life. We love the lean, sassy SB because it’s light. It’s refreshing. And this tight, tart element of the wine is a direct reflection of the grape’s many cool climate homes. From classic French regions like Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, and Bordeaux, to Alpine northern Italy, to New World producers in New Zealand and the mountains of Chile and California, Sauvignon Blanc thrives in cooler climates, thus keeping the tight body and sprite aromatics we love. Excessive heat exposure from poorly selected vineyard sites can leave SB flabby, vegetal, even with an off-putting oily property that nobody wants a second glass of. Moral of the story? Pack your skis, not your swim suit, and pop open a crisp, refreshing bottle of SB. All the cool kids are doing it.


7. It's literally "green".
 

If you’re going to eat a salad, you may as well drink Sauv Blanc. Okay, so not to that extreme, but varietal Sauvignon Blanc naturally yields fresh, herbaceous aromas that offer drinkers a spectrum of fresh “green” flavors. A by-product of the grape’s inherent chemical compound, methoxypyrazine, Sauv Blanc’s aromas can range anywhere from wet summer grass and wet limestone, to green apple and melon, to lemons, limes, and juicy grapefruits. Bright, engaging, and energetic, the wide range of green flavors make SB versatile to pair, easy to share, and one of the few wines that plays well with vinaigrettes and acid driven dishes.

6. It's Clean

In terms of its production, Sauvignon Blanc relies more on nature than nurture, especially in comparison to some of their over-oaked white counterparts, like Chardonnay. Aside from the White Bordeaux styles and those indicated as “Fumé,” most Sauvignon Blanc producers continue to rely on traditional stainless steel vessels for fermenting and aging the wine. Because the steel, as an inert material, imparts no flavors or textures of its own into the final character of the wine, Sauvignon Blancs often tell honest stories of their terrior (AKA the environment and specific location in which they’re grown). Not only does this un-oaked style of production result in a purer, unaltered wine, it also eliminates the added cost of oak treatment and elongated aging that ultimately inflates what you pay for the bottle.

5. It’s made for farm to table dining.


Naturally lower in alcohol and higher in acidity, Sauvignon Blanc is a prime partner for fresh, organic style dining. Its mélange of bright fruit and mineral flavors are wrapped tightly within a crisp, focused texture, making it a perfect palate cleanser between meals, a fabulous, stand-alone aperitif, and an outstanding compliment to a variety of dishes. The clean, expressive nuances of the grape marry beautifully with fresh, simply prepared dishes like hors d’ouevres, crudo or white fish, olive oil or pesto centric pastas, roasted veggies, or lemon-butter tempered entrées.

4. It’s nice to the earth.

Because of Sauvignon Blanc’s dominant green pyrazine aromas and its tendency toward early ripening, viticulturists have embraced the necessity of planting this feisty grape on low-vigor rootstock. Translation: if its vines are greedy, leeching too much nutrient from the surrounding soil and producing denser foliage to shade the grapes and slow their ripening, your result could taste more like a juice cleanse than a glass of wine.. SB needs sun exposure to grow to its full fruity potential while living in those cooler climates. For this reason, it is specifically grafted onto less aggressive rootstock, leaving balance in the wine and sufficient nourishment for the surrounding soil.

3. It’s cork conscious.

With New Zealand as the first country to voraciously endorse and enact the modern “Screwcap Initiative,” many white, rosé, even lighter style red wines have cut the corks and turned to screwcaps. And with Sauvignon Blanc being New Zealand’s blazing international success since the mid-80s, SB’s subsequently rock the earth-conscious screw cap as much if not more often than other mass produced varietals. Not only do these enclosures help preserve the cork oak trees in Portugal, from which 50% of all wine corks are sourced, but they are also are 100% recyclable and one of the most energy efficient base materials for new aluminum production. Producers from other major regions such as Australia, Chile, Italy, and California also support the screw cap initiative and have transitioned to the modern means of bottling their Sauvignon Blanc.

2. More green for the winery.

So you’ve found a great boutique winery or new producer that you want to support? Don’t wait around for a case of their high-end Cabernet just to throw them the big purchase. Buy their recent release Sauv Blanc! Because of the lower-margin production costs and its comparatively early release, Sauvignon Blancs are often the sole financial solace for new, small production wineries while they wait years on an ROI for long-lived red wines or oak-aged Chardonnays. Snagging up a case or two of Sauvignon Blanc is a quick and effective way to help out your new favorite producer and have plenty of delicious wine for the summer.

1. More green for you!

Help me help you. That’s how SB works. You enable the winery to pay their start-up bills, and they leave your check book balanced. Hands off production methods, screw tops on the bottle, quick, stainless-steel aging, and young releases all contribute to Sauvignon Blanc’s generally inexpensive price point. You will have little difficulty finding great quality, value wines below the $25 mark.

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