In your glass

In your glass

Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine that owes much of its popularity to winemakers in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in France. The Sauvignon Blanc taste is very different from other white wines because of its green and herbaceous flavors. The name Sauvignon Blanc means “Wild White” and the grape is related to Traminer with origins in the South of France.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world and because of this it has a wide range of styles and flavours.

It is unclear exactly when Sauvignon was introduced to the Cape, but it was certainly planted at Groot Constantia in the late 1880 and reportedly performed well there. The first varietal Sauvignon on the market was that of Verdun (now Asara) in Stellenbosch in 1977, with Backsberg and De Wetshof joining in 1980. The oldest existing Sauvignon vineyards can be found at Spice Route’s Klein Amoskuil in the Swartland, planted in 1965. The second oldest existing Sauvignon Blanc vineyards are at Bloemendal in Durbanville, planted in the early 1970s.

Sauvignon Blanc Synonyms

Fumé Blanc (USA)
Muskat-Silvaner (Austria)
Feigentraube (Germany)
Sauvignon (Italy)

Suggested Serving Temperatures

Unoaked 8 ºC (46 ºF)
Oaked 11 ºC (52 ºF)

The most noteworthy characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc is its unique and powerful aroma, which can awaken scents of grapefruit, flint, lime, green melon, gooseberry, passion fruit, freshly mown grass, and bell pepper.

Most Sauvignons are either made in a fresh, fruity style for early drinking, or are able to age for a few years. There are a few wooded varietal wines, but blends with Sémillon, either variety representing the major partner, are increasing, particularly in cooler, coastal areas. Botrytis-infected Sauvignon is also used for Noble Late Harvest wines.

In your glass of South African Sauvignon Blanc you will be able to identify one of the following styles:


Lush, tropical flavours and aromas of papaya, guava, banana and pineapple coupled with stonefruit (apricot, peach, nectarine), and some citrus elements. Also some floral notes (orange blossom and geranium). Mostly associated with warmer climate areas with relatively high levels of diurnal temperature fluctuation.


More austere, lean flavours and aromas such as gunflint, river pebbles, steel and smokiness, coupled with earthy undertones of mushroom, damp earth and the smell of rain falling on a dirt road. Mostly found in temperate climate areas with moderate fluctuation in diurnal temperatures.


Racy flavours and aromas such as capsicum, paprika, fresh and canned asparagus, tinned peas, grass, nettles, English gooseberry, grass, tomato vine, celery and herbs. Mostly found in cooler-climate areas with onshore breezes cooling the vineyards, or high-lying vineyards protected from extreme heat.


Zippy, racy flavours and aromas of fresh citrus coupled with spring buds, white flowers and very clean and refreshing on the palate. Mostly associated with cooler climate areas, or vineyards with high altitude or receiving cool ocean breezes.

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HAVE YOU ENTERED THE BIGGEST SAUVIGNON COMPETITION IN THE WORLD? Entries for Sauvignon Selection by CMB is now open! (See entry and shipment details below.) Today, we bring you a #TravelTuesday view from competition judge Per Karlsson, currently on tour in South Africa.Per and his wife Britt (originally from Sweden, now based in Paris) run BKWine Tours and visit 200 wineries every year. They publish BKWine Magazine and award-winning wine books, AND they are regular contributors to Forbes.• Read Per’s article on the 2023 Sauvignon Selection by CMB winners here: or a longer article on his BKWine website here: • Read why Per chose Boschendal 1685 Sauvignon Blanc 2022, RAKA WINE Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Walker Bay Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Contreberg Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Darling Cellars Gustus Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Gustus Sauvignon Blanc 2021 and Hannuwa Amphora Sauvignon Blanc 2022, as personal favourites from the 122 Sauvignon Blancs he tasted in South Africa in 2023: Sauvignon Blanc SA offers shipment of your 2024 Sauvignon Selection entries to Austria at R800 per entry (3 samples). Follow these three easy steps:1. Register by 28 February at Contact Eunice Joubert at 082 808 1114 or for payment details. 3. Deliver your samples to Hillebrand Gori - A Company of DHL in Stellenbosch, by 1 March. #SauvignonBlancSA #SauvignonBlanc #SouthAfrica #SauvignonSelect #WineCompetition ... See MoreSee Less
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