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Sauvignon blanc


Name & Etymology
Sauvignon seems to be a French translation of the Oc: “Sauvinhon” itself derived from the latin root “Sau” meaning “forest”. It’s therefore this wild character which has been retained to qualify this vine.  As for the white colour, it is only present to differentiate different Sauvignons: White, Rosé and Grey.

They are numerous: smoked white, Sauternes, Fié, Savagnou in the South West but there exist a lot more in the Val de Loire.

Colour: White

Geographical origin:
It may originate from the centre of France but it was formally identified in Bordeaux at the beginning of the 18th century.  The cultural constraints and its sensitivity to cryptogamic diseases have slowed its growth in the South West when it was well implanted in the centre of France.  However, with the infatuation for dry aromatic wines for the past 50 years, areas planted with Sauvignon Blanc are more and more important.

By crossing it with Cabernet Franc, it has given birth to Cabernet Sauvignon.

Appellations using it and / or major production areas abroad:
Present on the whole of the South-West vineyards in proportions more or less important.  It is today one of the principal vines in Gascogne and in Bergerac.  Like the other vines from Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc is planted all over the world and gives very different products according to its area of production.

Production Potential
Sauvignon is a vigorous vine and little fertile which is antagonistic. Indeed, to produce, the vine must be cut long.  Therefore, it is preferable to restrain it on poor soils and little vigorous rootstocks.  Put aside for a long time because of the difficulty of its harvest (short peduncle), mechanical harvesting has been a revolution for this vine.  Sauvignon is characterized by its typical aromas of boxwood, blackcurrant bud, grapefruit but also by its notes of smoke, gunflint, limestone…This aromatic family is better known under the name “thiol”.  Thiols are present in small doses in musts.  Under the action of the yeasts during fermentation, they are freed in the wines.

Best expressions / Oenological potential:
There exist different aromatic expressions just as interesting as one another.  The exhuberant fruit side suits aromatic wines to be drunk young.  For wines to be kept for ageing, a subtle combination between this fruit and mineral notes is rather sought after.  If Sauvignon wines are interesting, it may just as interesting to combine them with other vines to obtain complex wines.


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