Sauvignon Blanc Experience Attracts Attention of the Wine Industry

Lake County Event Draws Sauvignon Blanc Producers and Attendees from Around the World

Kelseyville, Calif. May 25, 2018 – The Lake County Winegrape Commission today announced that the Sauvignon Blanc Experience, which took place over two days in early May, exceeded its goals for attendance and featured an impressive lineup of speakers, wine brands and wine-growing regions around the globe.

The Sauvignon Blanc Experience included an International Symposium, which coincided with International Sauvignon Blanc Day on May 4, and a consumer-oriented Grand Tasting on May 5.

Sauvignon Blanc Experience Grand Tasting 2018

The sold-out Symposium attracted wine trade professionals and speakers from New Zealand, France, South Africa and other locations around California.

More than 50 Sauvignon Blanc producers were featured at the Grand Tasting, including a number of wineries represented by New Zealand Winegrowers, Lodi Winegrape Commission and the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. A strong presence from New Zealand and a several wines from the Loire Valley contributed to the international character of the event.

The event received support from a number of sponsors, most notably American AgCreditBella Vista FarmingVineyard Industry Products (VIP), Sunridge Nurseries and Twin Pine Casino & Hotel. Some 20 organizations in all sponsored the Sauvignon Blanc Experience.

The Right Time and the Right Location for the Sauvignon Blanc Experience

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the fastest growing wines in the U.S. according to Nielsen, and that increasing demand was evident in the number of people who attended the Symposium and Grand Tasting.

“There is no other big event in the U.S. focused exclusively on Sauvignon Blanc,” said Jonathan Walters, Chair of the Lake County Winegrape Commission. “Given the popularity of Lake County Sauvignon Blanc, the reputation Lake County has for producing high-quality Sauvignon Blanc and the strong association between the varietal and the region, we felt this was the right place to hold an International Symposium and a Grand Tasting dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc. The excitement and energy of this event affirms that strategy.”

“Sauvignon Blanc is an important varietal, and not just for our region,” said Matt Hughes, winemaker for Brassfield Estate Winery in Lake County. “It’s vital that we work hard to establish the reputation of Lake County Sauvignon Blanc and prove that it deserves to be a player on the world stage.”

Regional and International Presence at the Event

The Lake County Winegrape Commission collaborated with the University of California Davis and the Lake County Winery Association to host the Sauvignon Blanc Experience. Producers were invited from other regions around the country and around the world.

“How refreshing to have a symposium focused solely on Sauvignon blanc and see the varietal get the attention it so richly deserves,” said Kristin Belair, winemaker at Honig Vineyard & Winery in Napa Valley. “The diversity of Sauvignon blanc styles presented at the tasting on Saturday was impressive as was the quality. It certainly reflected the varietal’s unique ability to grow well in many different regions and be successfully crafted into a wide variety of wine styles.”

Joining producers from around California were representatives from New Zealand, including Erica Loveblock Crawford of Loveblock Wines and David Strada, U.S. Marketing Manager for New Zealand Winegrowers.

“New Zealand Winegrowers was pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Sauvignon Blanc Experience,” said Strada. “We believe it is important to investigate and discuss, promote and celebrate the Sauvignon Blanc grape and its resulting wines, and to have the opportunity to present our wines as examples of our distinct styles. The more recognition and respect Sauvignon Blanc receives, the better for everyone.”

The International Symposium was emceed by Deborah Parker Wong, Global Wine Editor for The Tasting PanelSOMM Journal and Clever Rootmagazines. “The Sauvignon Blanc Experience presented a deep dive in to a variety that has tremendous consumer appeal,” said Parker Wong. “Viewing the grape and the wines made from it through a global lens gives growers and producers of Sauvignon Blanc a roadmap for the future of the variety in Lake County. I, for one, will be eager to see what’s next from this singularly unique region.”

Given the success of the Sauvignon Blanc Experience, organizers are currently discussing the timing of the next event. An announcement of future plans is expected soon.


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