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Wine Education

10 fun facts about Sauvignon Blanc to help you win(e) at life

Thu 2 May 2024

Brown Brothers Sauvignon Blanc

Like it, love it or sitting firmly on the passionfruit-scented fence, Sauvignon Blanc has captured palates around the world.

The wine’s diversity and flagrant self-expression could be likened to a healthy and happy society, and is best enjoyed in the sun kicking back with mates. 

But Sauvignon Blanc needn’t remain a mystery. We’ve rounded up 10 fun facts as vibrant and expressive as the grape varietal itself. So whether you're impressing a sommelier at a fine-dining restaurant or popping the cork on a new varietal of trivia knowledge, rest easy in the fact that you’ve just upped your wine game.

1.      Sauvignon Blanc originated in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in France

These two French wine regions lay claim to the now universally-famous wine Sauvignon Blanc. The name likely derives from the French words sauvage, meaning wild, and blanc, meaning white.

2.      When it comes to flavour, vintage matters

Sauvignon Blanc is renowned for its aromatic fruit flavours and crisp acidity. But not all vintages were created equal. A cooler vintage will highlight green grass and asparagus characters in the wine, while a warmer vintage coaxes out those distinctive tropical fruit and passionfruit notes.

3.      The Sauvignon Blanc grape is OLD. Like, really old

Remember good ol’ 1534? Neither do we. But perhaps we should, given this is the year Sauvignon Blanc was first recorded in France. In the 500 years since, it’s spread like a vine to all corners of the globe, from Australia to New Zealand and from Chile to North America (where it’s often called Fumé Blanc). 

4.      Please don't call Sauvignon Blanc Sancerre

Only Sauvignon Blancs from the Sancerre region of the Loire Valley can be called Sancerre, a protected appellation whose proponents have strong views on the matter. These wines are elegant, lean and refined. Another popular French expression of the grape is known as Pouilly-Fumé, another protected appellation grown around the Pouilly-sur-Loire region. 

5.      Sauvignon Blanc is like a fish in water

The Sauvignon Blanc grape adores cool growing conditions moderated by water. From the Loire River in France to the oceans and rivers surrounding Marlborough and Tasmania, the best Sauvignon Blanc globally is grown near substantial bodies of water.

6.      Sauvignon Blanc adores Marlborough, and vice versa

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the region of Marlborough in New Zealand, which is producing some of the world’s most popular and distinctive Sauvignon Blanc. The South Island’s sandy soils and maritime climate produce wines of concentrated flavour and heady tropical fruit aromatics. Hope you love passionfruit. 

7.      Sauvignon Blanc and sushi? Oh yes you should

Sauvignon Blanc is notoriously food-friendly – best buds with almost any dish you’d like to throw at it. But it’s also one of the few wines to pair perfectly with sushi. So next time you’re tucking in to delicious Japanese, spare a thought for easy-drinking Sav Blanc. Your tastebuds will thank you. 

8.      Sauvignon Blanc is designed to drink young (lest it age disgracefully)

Got a cellar and itching to use it? Your racy Sauvignon Blanc should steer well clear. Sav Blanc doesn’t fare well in a cellar’s musty depths – or more realistically that weird cupboard under the stairs. So twist that screwcap and start enjoying this aromatic wine asap. 

9.      Cabernet SAUVIGNON. See where we're going here?

Hold on, we’re seeing double – and not because we’ve over-indulged. Deep red in colour and as subtle as a well-intended punch in the face, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular grape varietal in the world. So you’ll be interested to know that the wine is actually a blend of the red Cabernet Franc grape and white Sauvignon, first created in the 18th century. Mind blown. 

10. Sauvignon Blanc and dessert wine - sweeet

Ever swooned over a luscious bottle of French dessert wine Sauternes, one of the most expensive wines in the world? (If not, we suggest you start saving your pennies – it truly is worth it). The Sauvignon Blanc grape joins Sémillon and Muscadelle – each affected by the Botrytis fungus – to create this honeyed sweet wine, the vinous equivalent of the Holy Trinity. 


Stop the clocks: May 6 is World Sauvignon Blanc Day! Of course, who needs an excuse to savour a glass any old day of the week? 

Here at Brown Family Wine Group, we celebrate the diversity and deliciousness of Sauvignon Blanc every day with three aromatic and easy-drinking drops: Devil’s Corner Sauvignon Blanc 2023, Brown Brothers Origins Series Sauvignon Blanc 2023 and Brown Brothers Moscato & Sauvignon Blanc 2023 

A cheeky wine flight on a Tuesday night? We won’t tell. 

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