Cool-climate classic white

Although Sauvignon Blanc does not have as long a history in Australia as varieties like Shiraz or Riesling, it has found a very comfortable home in certain regions producing a range of styles.

Sauvignon Blanc snapshot

  • In 1970 there were only 20 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc in Australia. There are now 6,100 hectares planted in various regions across the country
  • Sauvignon Blanc is a particularly important variety in Adelaide Hills and Margaret River
  • Excellent wines are also produced in Tasmania, Orange and Yarra Valley

In the vineyard

  • Sauvignon Blanc is a relatively early ripening variety that does well in cool but sunny regions
  • Can tend toward excess production of foliage so canopy management is critical
Regions

Sauvignon Blanc does best in cool but sunny regions – areas influenced by the cooling effects of ocean breezes or elevation

Styles

Typically light-bodied with fresh vibrant and distinctive flavours. Oaked and unoaked versions depending on the desired style

Qualities

Ranges from easy drinking and affordable through to medium priced, premium wines

6,100ha
Total plantings (2015)
Unknown
First plantings

In the winery

Vinification techniques
  • Stainless steel temperature control fermentations are common
  • Blended with Semillon in some regions – notably Margaret River
  • Barrel fermented and/or aged styles tend to be richer and more full-bodied
Maturation
  • The vast majority of Sauvignon Blanc is bottled shortly after fermentation
  • Some styles see a few months of maturation in oak

Major regional expressions

Adelaide Hills

  • This region has established itself as the benchmark for Sauvignon Blanc in Australia
  • Vibrant, aromatic and fresh with complexity and texture in the best examples
Read more on Adelaide Hills

Margaret River

  • Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc is typically blended with Semillon
  • Ranges from light, crisp and lemony and herbal through to fuller flavoured and more tropical with some barrel fermentation and or ageing
Read more on Margaret River

In the glass

Style and character

Light to medium bodied wines with vibrant aromatic fruit and juicy acidity.

Pairs with

Shellfish, fresh oysters, white fish dishes, chicken, pork, goat’s cheese, salads.

Typical flavours

Citrus
Passionfruit
Guava
Grassiness
Grapefruit

Stories of Australian Wine