International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2022: 13 Facts about Sauvignon Blanc

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Today is International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2022, so to celebrate we’re sharing 13 facts with you about this French white wine varietal. International Sauvignon Blanc Day is celebrated on the first Friday of May each year so pop it in your calendar.

International Sauvignon Blanc Day

  1. Origins of the sauvignon blanc grape
    Sauvignon Blanc originated in the Loire Valley. Its first known mention, under its synonym fiers, is recorded in 1534.

 

  1. The name Sauvignon Blanc
    The name possibly comes from Savignin, the grape from which sauvignon blanc is thought to originate. The other possibility is that it derives from the French word sauvage, meaning wild. Blanc, of course, means white.

 

  1. Other names
    International Sauvignon Blanc Day
  2. The vines
    Sauvignon blanc grapes are small with golden yellow to green skins. They grow in small clusters.Young leaves of sauvignon blanc are downy and yellowish, adult leaves are 5 lobed and green.

 

  1. On the nose
    These wines have strong aromas which can range from freshly cut grass, peas and asparagus through to tropical and ripe passionfruit, grapefruit or mango.

 

  1. On the palate
    While sauvignon blancs will taste differently depending on where they come from, Sauvignon Blanc is known for crisp, high acidity. The grassiness in the aroma can also come through in the wine which thanks for pyrazine, a chemical compound found in the grapes, grassy, herbal or capsicum (bell pepper to the US) flavours can be found. Cooler climate sauvignon blancs tend to keep this character. Warmer climates however see that characteristic diminish with fruitier flavours taking its place.

 

  1. What are French sauvignon blancs like?
    As with many varietals, sauvignon blanc wines taste different in each country and sometimes even from region to region.Sauvignon blanc typically produces dry white wines in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. There are, however, differences between sauvignon blancs from these two regions: gravely soils in the Loire give floral, spicy, mineral flavours whereas Bordeaux sauvignon blancs are often fruitier.

    AOC Pouilly-Fumé wines have a smoky, fun flint flavour which is why the word “fumé”, meaning smoky, is used.

    Single varietal sauvignon blancs under the Saint-Bris AOC are said to be less concentrated than the Sauvignon blanc-based AOC wines of the upper Loire valley, in particular Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre.

 

  1. Sauvignon blanc in blends
    While Sauvignon blanc grapes are often used to produce single varietal wines, they are also sometimes used in blends. Most common perhaps is the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend. With a point of difference however is the Sauternes region, sauvignon blanc grapes are blended with Sémillon to produce Sauternes, a late harvest sweet wine.It is one of the four white grapes permitted in Bordeaux white wine production – alongside Sémillon, Muscadelle and Ugni blanc.

    In the northern Rhône Valley, Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Tressallier to form a tart white wine.

 

  1. Not just still: also sparkling
    Some New Zealand producers have produced sparkling wine from sauvignon blanc grapes.

 

  1. Parenthood
    Sauvignon Blanc spontaneously crossed with Cabernet Franc to produce Cabernet Sauvignon. It has also been crossed with obscure grape Raffiat de Moncade to produce a grape called Arriloba, which is found in France, Brazil and Uruguay. In Romania, Sauvignon Blanc has been crossed with a grape called Sarba to produce another called Golia.

journée internationale du sauvignon blanc 2022

  1. Sauvignon blanc around the world
    Outside of its native France, New Zealand has the world’s second largest plantings of Sauvignon Blanc grapes. 2013 measurements had New Zealand at 16,205 hectares with France at 26,839 hectares. Chile is in 3rd place with 12, 159 hectares of sauvignon blanc vines. The rest of the top 10 sauvignon blanc growing countries are South Africa, US, Australia, Romania, Spain, Italy and Ukraine.

 

  1. Think you don’t like sauvignon blanc?
    Try French! Chilean sauvignon blancs are also said to be close to the French style. These are quite a contrast from New Zealand’s sauvignon blancs, which tend to be a lot higher in acidity than their French counterparts – if New Zealand has ruined sauvignon blanc for you, try a French (or Chilean) one and discover the differences!

 

  1. Get social
    If you’re celebrating International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2022, share your glass (or bottle) of sauvignon blanc on social media with the hashtags #sauvblancday #sauvignonblancday
    International Sauvignon Blanc Day

 

Happy International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2022! What’s your favourite sauvignon blanc?

 

Want more wine?

If you like French wine, check out the following articles:

WHITE WINE

International Viognier Day 2022: 19 facts about Viognier

Happy Pinot Grigio Day – a look at the French wine Pinot Gris

19 facts about Riesling for International Riesling Day 2022

International Chardonnay Day 2021: the grape, the wines and which ones to drink

 

RED WINE

Cabernet Franc Day 2021: facts and recommendations

Cabernet Sauvignon Day 2021: 15 things you didn’t know about Cabernet Sauvignon

International Grenache Day 2021: Discover 11 things you didn’t know about Grenache to celebrate

World Malbec Day 2022: 19 facts about Malbec

World Marselan Day 2022: 15 facts about Marselan

Tannat Day 2022: 23 facts about Tannat

 

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A year in wine: French wine varietal days of 2021

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We’ve celebrated a lot of French wine varietal days throughout 2021 for varietals that are well-known and some that are lesser-known. Join us as we take a look back through 2021 in wine.

A year in wine - French wine varietal days

 

JANUARY

There are no days in January dedicated to French wine varietals but New Year’s Day is also Bloody Mary Day – did you know the Bloody Mary was invented in a bar in Paris?

Bloody Mary Day

 

FEBRUARY

16th International Syrah Day – the day celebrating the grape known by many names which is also celebrated later in the year under its Shiraz moniker. There’s also an official facebook page celebrating the grape and its day.

French varietal days - Syrah Day

 

MARCH

13th International Riesling Day – celebrated on 13th March annually since 2019. This date is also known as Riesling’s birthday because 13 March 1435 is the date of an invoice which is the earliest documented date making reference to Riesling or Riesslingen as it was known in Germany – the heartland of Riesling –  at the time.

Riesling Day

 

APRIL

17th World Malbec Day – While very much a French grape, Argentina has made it its own and Wines of Argentina hose 17th April as World Malbec Day in recognition of the day, on which President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry.

World Malbec Day - French varietal days

 

27th World Marselan Day – The date was chosen to honour the creator of the Marselan varietal , Paul Truel who was born on April 27, 1924.

Marselan Day

 

30th International Viognier Day – Australia’s Yalumba wines declared the last Friday in April to be International Viognier Day.

Viognier Day

 

MAY 

7th International Sauvignon Blanc Day is celebrated on the first Monday in May (but also by some on 24th April)

Sauvignon Blanc

 

9th National Moscato Day – a celebration of the grape and wines known as Muscat in France and not always sickly sweet like wines by the Moscato name.

International Moscato Day - French wine varietal days

 

17th Pinot Grigio Day – we took a look at this varietal by its French name, Pinot Gris.

Pinot Grigio Day - French wine varietal days

 

21st Chardonnay Day – the date changes each year as it is held on the Thursday before Memorial Day in the USA

Chardonnay Day

 

JUNE 

18th Drink Chenin Day – an initiative of Portland, Oregon winemakers Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe, #DrinkChenin Day celebrates what they call “the greatest white grape varietal on earth”. It’s held on the 3rd Saturday of June each year.

Drink Chenin Day

 

24th (and or 12th) Rosé Day is held on the 4th Friday in June each year (but also on 12th June).

Rosé Day

 

JULY FRENCH WINE VARIETAL DAYS

22nd Shiraz Day – this was the 2nd annual Shiraz Day which is held on the 4th Friday in July. We took a look at this varietal by its French name, syrah.

International Shiraz Day

 

AUGUST FRENCH WINE VARIETAL DAYS

18th International Pinot Noir Day – a day celebrating one of the oldest grapes – Pinot Noir is 1000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon! It is held on 18th August each year.

International Pinot Noir Day

 

30th International Cabernet Day  – Cabernet Sauvignon gets its annual celebration on 30th August but for some the Thursday before Labor Day in the USA where the day originated.

Cabernet Day

 

SEPTEMBER FRENCH WINE VARIETAL DAYS

17th International Grenache Day – Grenache is celebrated on the 3rd Friday in September each year.

International Grenache Day

 

OCTOBER FRENCH WINE VARIETAL DAYS

22nd Champagne Day – Comité Champagne have declared that the 4th Friday in October shall be #ChampagneDay. This year we spoke about the types, styles and key champagne terms. As always, we shared recommendations from French wine importers. This is perhaps one of the most popular and celebrated French wine varietal days.

 

28th International Carignan Day – held on the last Thursday each October, this is one of the lesser-known French wine varietals, Carignan. While the grape is thought to have its origins in the North-Western Spanish region of Aragon, this grape is also found in the South of France, in the Languedocian regions of Aude, Gard and Héraul.

 

NOVEMBER FRENCH VARIETAL DAYS

18th Beaujolais Nouveau – celebrated on the 3rd Thursday of November each year, the day heralds the arrival of the new wine from the latest vintage. With COVID-19, there wasn’t any Beaujolais Nouveau 2021 in Australia so we expanded the celebration of the day to include Beaujolais and Gamay.

Beaujolais Nouveau - French wine varietal days

 

24th Carménère Day – a day celebrating a French varietal you may not have heard of – it was thought to be extinct for a long time. It’s held on the 24th November each year.

Carménère Day - French wine varietal days

 

DECEMBER FRENCH WINE VARIETAL DAYS

4th International Cabernet Franc Day – a day celebrating the grape and wines which are often seen as the feminine version of the more masculine cabernet sauvignon. Held on the 4th each year.

International Cabernet Franc Day - French wine varietal days

 

16th Pinot Meunier Day – while we didn’t publish an article for this day, it’s worth mentioning that this Pinot Meunier Day is celebrated on the 16th each year.

Pinot Meunier Day

Which French wine varietal days do you celebrate? Cheers to another year of French wine!

 

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