Sauvignon Blanc produces some of the world’s most diverse wines and can be highly influenced based on growing conditions, barrel programs and winemaker discretion. Its ancestral home is in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions of France where the growing conditions are varied and the resulting wines are regionally distinctive. Sauvignon Blanc can tolerate more heat than many varieties and can also generate deep flavor profiles in cooler regions. The versatile nature of the grape makes it one of the more dynamic wine grapes to grow. Depending on where it is grown, Sauvignon Blancs can have higher acids and exhibit citrus, melon and tropical fruit characters in the aromatics and flavors.
If grown in a cool climate, it can develop an herbal (grassy) character in its aromas. Regions such as the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County certainly produce Sauvignon Blanc grapes that fit this profile. Sauvignon Blanc can produce a large crop and performs well in warmer regions such as the Dry Creek Valley. Because it can get overpowered by oak flavors, it is not often aged in wood. However, it is not unusual to find Sauvignon Blancs with some neutral oak aging. This ultimately comes down to an individual winery and their desired house style. At Dry Creek Vineyard, for example, we choose not to oak age any of our Sauvignon Blancs, instead preserving the fresh fruit characters we’ve come to love in the varietal.
Sauvignon Blanc can often blend with other varietals. Semillon is a classic contributor rounding out the taste of the wine. Sauvignon Blanc has become one of America’s most popular white wines. The variety of styles and flavors make it enjoyable for almost any wine drinker. When served chilled and with fresh oysters, Sauvignon Blanc creates a blissful pairing that is unmatched.