If vino is born from the vine, then mother nature is the proud parent of wine. And just as a son will grow up to be much like his father, a wine will eventually become much like the land from whence it came.
Nature vs. Nurture is a debate where neither side gets sole support simply because the two forces supplement one another. While how a wine is nurtured by a winemaker is a major factor in its development, let’s focus today on the nature aspect of wine in terms of its environment. Specifically, let’s take a look at Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and compare it to Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre in France.
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Grassy. Zingy. Herbaceous. These three descriptions are the first that come to mind when I hear New Zealand and Sauvignon Blanc mentioned in the same sentence. Smell it once, sip it twice and you’ll know it every time you hold it to your nose or bring it to your lips. A flavor profile profoundly unique, Sauvignon Blanc grown in New Zealand has an identity that is undeniable. Much like the vivid hues of the landscape and refreshing burst of the tide, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is lively and vibrant with a singular, savvy style.
Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc
Minerality. Racy. Citrus. These terms define examples of Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre. Molded by minerality and accented with acidity, Sancerre is both racy and refined. Similar to its soil, this Sauvignon Blanc is grounded in gravel and chiseled in chalk.
Just as a person from New Zealand speaks with a very different accent in comparison to a French speaking person from Sancerre, the Sauvignon Blanc from these regions too will have accents all their own unique to the place of their origin. A product of its environment, wine exists as a formula consisting of its nature (based on what it is and where it came from) and how it’s nurtured. While some winemakers seek to reflect the region in their wine, others prefer to have the wine they make molded in their own image. It just depends on the nature of their winemaking. And so it is, that nature is what nurtures not only the wine but its maker as well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Allie Merrick is the co-host of My Wine Words (www.mywinewords.com), the NW Wine Correspondent for Northwest Wines To You and creative contractor under her own label Allie Merrick Inc (www.alliemerrickinc.com).
Sipping on Sonoma Pinot
Watch Allie and Peter describe the 2009 Ancien Pinot Noir. Notes of dried rose petals, raspberries (not in a bowl – but still on the bush), earl grey tea, beach grass, tree bark & LOTS of red fruit make this a treat to tip back.