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Majestic Guides: beyond New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Category: Majestic Guides

Beyond New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc


In Short:
Marlborough is often the first region that comes to mind when you think of New World Sauvignon Blanc. With the 2021 harvest yielding around 20% less wine than usual, producers were unable to meet global demand. We’re going to share some fantastic Marlborough alternatives that will quench your thirst for zingy, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc.


In recent years, Marlborough has become a Sauvignon Blanc brand of its very own. If you ask someone what wine they enjoy and the reply is ‘Marlborough’, you know they’re referring to the region’s signature zesty and tropical white wine.

Marlborough’s landscape was once deemed unsuitable for Sauvignon Blanc – so how did it become synonymous with the grape variety? 

Like all of the world’s greatest wine regions, the climate plays a huge role in the success of a grape growing season. Marlborough has a maritime climate. This coastal region has long, hot days followed by cool nights. Vines are allowed to develop slowly, so come harvest time, grapes are full of fruit intensity and naturally high acidity, which produce exuberant, mouthwatering Sauvignon Blanc wines – a style that had not been created before.


It was during the late 1970s and early ‘80s that pioneers like David Hohnen began to see Marlborough’s potential for exceptional Sauvignon Blanc wines. David founded Cloudy Bay – arguably the region’s finest premium Sauvignon Blanc producer. 

The Oyster Bay winery was not far behind in production, with a focus on making great-value Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Their first ever vintage was named Best Sauvignon at the 1991 International Wine and Spirit Competition. And the world took notice.

Today, brand powerhouse Villa Maria provides another benchmark for excellent wallet-friendly wines. It’s no surprise that their multi-award winning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ‘Private Bin’ is their flagship wine.

Our best-selling white wine, The Ned Sauvignon Blanc, is made by Brent Marris, who undoubtedly took inspiration from his father John Marris – the man who planted Marlborough’s very first Sauvignon Blanc vines.


Sauvignon Blanc originates from France, most likely around the Bordeaux area – another maritime climate – where it not only creates the region’s signature dry white wine, but it’s also used to make sweet wines, most famously Sauternes. 

But it is the Loire Valley where France’s most widely-recognised Sauvignon Blanc is found. Two very famous regions sit either side of the Loire river. On the west bank, there’s Sancerre, with its grassy, green fruit and citrus-driven wines. And on the eastern side, Pouilly-Fumé, which has similar characteristics, though as a general rule, has more striking minerality throughout, thanks to the area’s flint (silex) soils. When combined with chalk and marl (Kimmeridgian) soils, these regions’ wines tend to be rich and complex with unrivalled elegance.

Discover an excellent example from each of these key regions here:

Domaine Fouassier 'La Garenne' Sancerre 

Jean Vincent Pouilly-Fumé 


South Africa

If you’ve found you can’t pick up your favourite bottle of Marlborough, South African Sauvignon Blanc should be next on your list. Not only will you find comparable flavours in these wines, but them flying lower under the radar means you get incredible value for money.

Similarly to Marlborough, areas of South Africa benefit from cooling sea breezes that help stem the hot sun. So you’ll find the best wines come from coastal regions like Stellenbosch and the wider area of the Western Cape.

Here are two of our favourites, offering up Sauvignon Blanc’s much-loved citrusy, tropical flavours.

Pringle Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape

Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape