What is Sauvignon Blanc?

Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape that produces a crisp white wine known for its high acidity and aromatic nature. This wine is refreshing and very food-friendly and originates in the Bordeaux region of France.

In this post, we’ll cover some quick facts on the Sauvignon Blanc wine varietal and give you an in-depth analysis of the wine profile to help you understand the Vitis vinifera var Sauvignon Blanc grape variety.


Table of Contents


Introductory Wine Profile:
Quick Facts About the Sauvignon Blanc Wine Variety



What colour should Sauvignon Blanc be?

Sauvignon Blanc is a very pale white wine with hints of green to it.



Wine Body Type

Is Sauvignon Blanc full-bodied?

Sauvignon Blanc usually has an alcohol volume between 12.5% and 13.5%, so this wine would be considered medium-bodied.



Is Sauvignon Blanc sweet or dry?

Sauvignon Blanc is a very crisp an dry wine, however, it can at times be sweet– depending on the amount of sugar added to the wine.


Flavours and Aromas:

What does Sauvignon Blanc taste like?

  • Fruit: Gooseberry, Grapefruit, Tropical Fruit, Peach, Green Apple
  • Vegetal/Herbal: Fresh cut grass, Herbaceous, Asparagus, Green Pepper
  • Floral: Elderflower, blossom
  • Other: Cat box (yes, gooseberries sometimes smell like cat pee — sorry!)


Food Pairings

What food do you pair with Sauvignon Blanc?

Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, food-friendly wine that pairs will with spicy dishes, sushi and more:

Wine & Cheese Pairings for Sauvignon Blanc: Goat Cheese
Meat Pairings for Sauvignon Blanc: Chicken, Fish, Seafood, Shellfish
Sauvignon Blanc & Vegetable Pairing: Salads, Fresh Vegetables


How to Serve this Wine

Do you drink Sauvignon Blanc cold?

Yes! Sauvignon Blanc should be served chilled. To get the best flavour out of your wine, you should chill Sauvignon Blanc to 7°C (45°F).


Comparable Wine Styles

What is Sauvignon Blanc similar to?

Try a Sauvignon Blanc, if you like Chablis or Albariño.


How to Pronounce “Sauvignon Blanc”

SŌ-vin-yaw Blahnk


Where are the best Sauvignon Blancs from?

Top Sauvignon Blanc Producing Regions

Old World Regions

  • Loire Valley, France (esp Sancerre)
  • Bordeaux, France (blended with Semillion)
  • Spain
  • Italy

New World Regions

  • New Zealand
  • California, USA
  • South Africa
  • Chile


Our Favourite Examples of this Wine Varietal


VIDEO: Everything You Need to Know About Sauvignon Blanc Wine


Advanced Information on Vitis vinifera var Sauvignon Blanc Grape Variety


The Origin of the Grape Name

What is the scientific name for Sauvignon Blanc?

Pronounced, “SŌ-vin-yaw Blahnk”, the scientific name for Sauvignon Blanc is Vitus vinifera grape. Its name translates to “Wild White,” or “Savage White,” referring to the grape’s native origins in South-West France where it grew naturally as an endemic species. Today Sauvignon blanc is grown around the world because of its tolerance to growing conditions. Often Shortened to “Sauv’ Blanc”, the grapes are also commonly blended with Semillon. Sauv’ blanc is the parent plant to the Cabernet Sauvignon grapevine which comes from both Cabernet Franc crossed with Sauvignon Blanc—hence the creative name, “Cabernet Sauvignon”.


Synonyms of this Wine Varietal

Pouilly Fume, Touraine, Cheveny, Graves, Entre-Deux-Mers, Sancerre, Surin, Feigentraube, Fie dans le Neuvillois, Punechon, Puinechou, Gentin a Romorantin, Savagnin Musque, Savignon Bianco, Fume Blanc, Blanc Fume, Sauvignon jaune, Muscat-Silvaner’


Tasting Profile of the Sauvignon Blanc Grape Variety

What are the characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc?


The Appearance

What does Sauvignon Blanc look like?

This wine is generally straight-forward. Aromas and flavours are up-front and immediate making the detection process easier, making Sauvignon Blanc a good starter wine for new wine drinkers looking to delve into the tasting experience beyond simply drinking wine.


Aroma, Flavours & Mouthfeel of Sauvignon Blanc Wine

What does Sauvignon Blanc taste like?

New World Sauvignon Blanc generally have a more pungent aroma; the wine produced from ripe grapes should smell and taste of passion fruit, whereas wine produced with less-ripe grapes will have hints of lemon and pepper.

Old World Sauvignon Blanc should have a classic note of cut grass in the aroma; similarly the flavours of herbs and mineral will be more detectable as well.


Grape Variety Terroir


In what conditions does Sauvignon Blanc grow? Where does Sauvignon Blanc grow best?

Sauvignon Blanc grows well in both warm and cool climates; however, grapes produced in cooler climates will present better and more distinct flavours than flavours present in warmer-grown grapes.


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Biology of the Grape Variety

An overview of the Biology of Sauvignon Blanc

Small green-to-yellow grapes are produced from a vigorous vine that grows well in most soil types. As with other grape varieties, it is best to avoid overly fertile soil as this can promote vegetative growth over plant reproduction (fewer berries are produced in place of more leaves). Harvest generally occurs early in the season, but late-harvest Savignon Blanc afflicted with noble rot are characteristically very sweet.


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