Inspired by one of VinePair’s most popular site sections, the Wine 101 podcast takes an educational, easy-to-digest look into the world of wine. This episode of Wine 101 is sponsored by Whitehaven. From the sunny bays and lush green vineyards of Marlborough, comes a New World Sauvignon Blanc that only New Zealand could offer. Whitehaven’s winemaking philosophy centers on the pursuit of quality without compromise, a principle that is supported in every step from the vineyard to the glass. Whitehaven uses only Marlborough grapes in our wines, ensuring that only truly Marlborough character is in every bottle. Inspired by a dream, try Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc. Your haven awaits.

Welcome back to Wine 101. In this episode, VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers guides listeners through the history, origin, and popularity of Sauvignon Blanc, as well as the full spectrum of the grape’s existence in the modern world.

Sauvignon Blanc is believed to have originated in the Loire Valley in central France. In this area, the soil contains a high amount of limestone that lends to the pure, crisp, and herbaceous nature of Sauvignon Blanc wine. Over time, as grape vines spread and grew in more regions, the subtleties of the grape changed. Beavers explains that the grape eventually made its way to Bordeaux, where it was used to produce sweeter white wine blends. Here, the Sauvignon Blanc grape, along with the Cabernet Franc grape, formed the famous Cabernet Sauvignon.

Outside of France, the complexity of the Sauvignon Blanc grape changes. For example, in New Zealand, the flavor becomes much more pungent with notes of green bell pepper; while in California, it develops a fruitier taste with kiwi and starfruit notes.

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