There are few wine varietals that have so many different names, or express the terroir of a region as much as Sauvignon Blanc. Originating in the Bordeaux region of France, the grape most likely gets its name from the word "Sauvage" (wild) and "Blanc" (white). Depending on the region, the wine can vary from intensely grassy to fragrantly tropical. It's mostly always elegant, crisp and vibrant.
Sauvignon Blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Moldova and California.
In old world terms, there's Pouilly-Fume from the Loire Valley with smokey minerality from the burnt oak barrels; to Sancere with its clean, bone dry, aromatic and intense peach and gooseberry notes. The very balanced food friendly Bordeaux variety has the contribution of it's partner grape Semillon to bring some lush body, as is found in most varietals from the Margaret River and other regions of Australia as well a few "undisclosed-on-the-label" US wines.
In this episode of Slow Living Radio, however, we'll learn more about New World Sauvignon Blancs especially those of Australia, New Zealand and the US. Michael Scholz, who was raised in South Australia in a wine-making family and is now winemaker at St Supery in the Napa Valley makes wines in both locations, and has travelled Europe and other global regions to select build his signature varietals.
David Strada will bring us the history, regions and nature of the renowned New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Kiwi Chef Mark Raymond who has been a chef and worked "wine" in New Zealand, Spain and London will bring us some food pairing with International flair.
Michael ScholzV.P., Winemaker
St Supery Estate Winery and Vineyards
"The winemaker's choice of oak is like a chef's choice of ingredients. The barrels—we use only seasoned French oak—give us an opportunity for enhancing expression and encouraging structure and maturity with our Cabernet Sauvignons. The natural combination of the soil, the harvest season and the oak form the future of what you'll taste two years or many years later."
During his first tour at St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, Michael created the distinctive style that made St. Supéry Napa Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc a California benchmark for this varietal. Michael and vineyard manager Josh Anstey started replanting St. Supéry’s Estate vineyards in the late 1990s. In 2001, Michael took an eight-year hiatus exploring other wine valleys, including his six-generation family vineyard in Barossa Valley, Australia. In 2009, Michael returned to St. Supéry Estate and the mature, fully estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon he helped plant. Michael is responsible for blending all 2007 and 2008 red wines from St. Supéry Estate and the active vintages starting in 2009.
After consulting at St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery with Michael, celebrity global wine consultant Michel Rolland, of Bordeaux, praised the dual hemisphere, four-continent winemaker; "Michael Scholz is on my list of great winemakers from around the world," Rolland said.
Michael completed his Bachelor of Science in Oenology in 1985 at Roseworthy, Australia's first agricultural college (now a part of the University of Adelaide). His winemaking career began with his family's single-vineyard Barossa wines at the Willows Vineyard in the mid-1980s.
|Willow Vineyards, Barossa, started by the Scholz family in the 1880's|
Wine has taken him to the United States, France, and South Africa. Always looking for great wine horizons, he progressed from family cellar hand to vice president in charge of building a state-of-the-art winery.
David StradaUS Marketing Manager
New Zealand Winegrowers
New Zealand extends 1,000 miles from sub-tropical Northland (36˚ South) to the world's most southerly grape growing region Central Otago (47˚ South). Vineyards benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate (nine of the ten grape growing regions are coastal) with long and bright sunshine hours and nights cooled by sea breezes.
New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy, and intensity. The long ripening period, a result of cool temperatures, allows flavor development while retaining fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned.
David StradaNZW. Wineries that export to the US are represented by NZW across the country through marketing and promotional efforts, media and public relations assistance, and educational programs to teach Americans about New Zealand and its wine regions and wines.
Mark’s The Spot Food Truck
Mark Raymond is the real deal. With cooking credentials throughout the North Bay, he’s the king of mobile food “prepared slow, served fast.” – Press Democrat
Mark is a Kiwi and a trained chef. He’s cooked all over the world in New Zealand, Australia, London, Spain and Sonoma. He was even an opening chef for Roxanne’s Living Foods restaurant in Larkspur.
Mark also spent five years working in the wine industry, and has done everything from cellar work to national sales. He is now the owner and chef of a successful catering business and a fine food truck, and is pleased to offer hand-made, farm fresh, locally sourced, mostly organic fare all around wine country.