Until the present generation, Sauvignon Blanc was seen as a niche variety, best grown only on the upcountry reaches of France’s Loire River, east of the chateaux of the kings.

This was read to mean that Sauvignon only felt at home in cold climates (have you been up the Loire without a jersey?).

And then came Marlborough in New Zealand. And now many places in South Africa. All making Sauvignon that stops the traffic. The only terroir issue that these places have in common  is moderate maximum temperatures during ripening.

Most of the main Southern Hemisphere vineyards are close to the sea. That’s a moderating influence – low max and high min temperatures.

079   With a bit of effort, you can see Table Bay, through the blue summer haze, in the top right of the picture. This wonderful Sauvignon block at Diemersdal in Durbanville has maritime influence from both Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

On the creative front, it seems that winemakers of great Sauvignon are born that way. Every top winemaker in South Africa and New Zealand wants to make a 5 star Sauvignon Blanc. Not every one does. And many of the successful ones can do it wherever they find a good vineyard.