Wine Lists

International Sauvignon Blanc Day

By Halliday Promotion

23 Apr, 2024

Celebrate International Sauvignon Blanc Day with these three wines. We spoke to the winemakers about why they love sauvignon blanc and how best to enjoy their wines. 

Sauvignon blanc, born in the Loire Valley region of France, is one of the most divisive grape varieties around. The grape produces aromatic white wines with distinctive passionfruit, gooseberry, citrus and herbaceous characters that drinkers either love or loathe.

If you're a lover of the variety, Friday May 3 is the perfect time to celebrate. Observed on the first Friday in May each year, International Sauvignon Blanc Day is an opportunity for you to pour a glass and celebrate this fresh, classic variety. And if you're the type to avoid sauvignon blanc, the three wines below might just change your mind. 

Apricus Hill winemaker James Kellie says, "Sauvignon blanc is one of the most flavourful grapes to sample in the vineyard. I enjoy the challenge of capturing this experience in the glass while at the same time bringing a little sophistication through the use of French oak." Apricus Hill's sauvignon blanc is grown in Denmark in Western Australia.

Meanwhile, Bruce Dukes of Domaine Naturaliste in Margaret River says sauvignon blanc is "an energised variety." Bruce says, "Its expressions are typically succulent and vibrant, and when coupled with wild yeast and sur lie maturation in large format oak, these wines have wonderful ability to gain complexity (aka tastiness) with four to eight years maturation."  

Norfolk Rise's 2023 sauvignon blanc is grown in South Australia's Mount Benson. Head winemaker Chris Cameron says of the region, "Mount Benson’s climate and proximity to the ocean offer a unique environment for sauvignon blanc. High natural acidity and correspondingly low pH allow fruit ripening at a slow and steady pace. The telling point has been allowing the flavours to develop past the more simple herbaceous notes of most sauvignon blanc while maintaining its brightness."

Here are three must-try sauvignon blancs:

Apricus Hill sauvignon blanc

2023 Apricus Hill Sauvignon Blanc

A brilliant, clear, steely white with youthful green hues, a vibrant lifted nose of gooseberry and citrus, with grassy, savoury notes and hints of gunflint and toasty French oak. Grapefruit and passionfruit combine with a textured savoury mid-palate with hints of melon and spicy vanillin oak leading to a long, crisp finish. 

Winemaker James Kellie says: The Apricus Hill vineyard sits on an elevated ridge in Denmark on the very far south coast of Western Australia. It enjoys an expansive vista of the Stirling Ranges to the north and stunning views over the southern ocean to the south. The resultant cool maritime climate provides an intriguing herbaceous lift to the intense, classic varietal gooseberry and grapefruit.

H. How do you approach the winemaking process for this wine?
JK. Only the finest, free run juice goes into the wine. The majority is fermented at cool temperatures to preserve the delicate aromatics and to capture the purity of the region. The balance ferments in new French oak puncheons to introduce textural, spicy complexity. 

Best enjoyed: Apricus Hill Sauvignon Blanc has the fruit intensity and texture to be enjoyed chilled by the glass. It also has the acidity and complexity to pair well with classic seafood dishes such as oysters, scallops and fish.

RRP $30 | Drink to 2029 | | Shop this wine

Domaine Naturalise sauvignon blanc

2022 Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc is well adapted to our gravelly soils and maritime climate. The fruit is from the cooler southern end of Margaret River, which is renowned for its fragrant white wines. Bold aromas of red currant, passionfruit and orange blossom laced with notes of lychee and clove. A creamy, mouth-filling palate delights the senses with an unexpected richness and depth of flavour.

Winemaker Bruce Dukes says: The interaction between our local sauvignon blanc clone and our Margaret River terroir yields succulent fruit, with distinctive lychee, red current and cassis flower aromas and generous textures.

H. How do you approach the winemaking process for this wine?
BD. Sauvage refers to the ingenious yeast fermentation, which is like having a dinner party with a group of guests, meaning that the conversation will have more depth and complexity than the lone dinner can generate. The wild juice ferments and is matured sur lie (on lees) in large format, 500-litre French oak puncheons. The large oak preserves the freshness and delicate nuances. 

Best enjoyed: Typically at 5pm and from a wine glass. Sauvage Sauvignon blanc is an aromatic and textural wine with the strength of personality to become sublime friends with grilled veal chops, roast chicken and fish of character.

RRP $37 | Drink to 2028 | | Shop this wine

Norfolk Rise sauvignon blanc

2023 Norfolk Rise Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Fresh and vibrant fruit with hints of passionfruit and green melon surround the wine's herbaceous core. This is a wine with great balance between flavour, acidity and texture, providing a generous mouthfeel.

Head winemaker Chris Cameron says: Sauvignon blanc is grown in many regions across the world, but the purest expressions of the variety come from true cool-climate locations. This gives the wine the ability to remain bright and fresh while maintaining great length of flavour. Herbaceousness is evident but its real strength lies in the abundant fruit on both the nose and the palate. A great linear profile.

H. How do you approach the winemaking process for this wine?
CC. It is critical to harvest the fruit with the right balance of acidity and sugar. The region allows the crop to maintain outstanding acid levels as the flavours develop. While remaining sophisticated, this wine offers great length of flavour and balance, often missing with many two dimensional wines. Ferments are kept quite cold and consistent, looking to maintain the more subtle, delicate characteristics.

Best enjoyed: This sauvignon blanc enjoys being served well chilled and, uniquely, is complex enough to look great at only slightly chilled levels. Originating from a true Mediterranean climate close to the ocean, it of course shines when paired with seafood. It equally rewards as a chilled beverage with our sustainable approach to lower alcohol levels (11.5 per cent).

RRP $22 | Drink to December 2025 | | Shop this wine


Top image credit: Apricus Hill