Marlborough celebrates Sauvignon with 3-day event

New Zealand opened the doors to the country’s first ever “celebration” of Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough today.

(Photo: Twitter – Sauvignon 2016)

(Photo: Twitter – Sauvignon 2016)

Speaking from the Marlborough Convention Centre, Patrick Materman, chair of the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, said that the three-day event from 1-3 February was designed to explore the stylistic diversity of wines made from the grape, and told some 300 attendees that the inaugural event had been called a “celebration” rather than a “conference” because it was designed to “show the industry at its best”.

He also stressed that the symposium would be focused on the grape, rather than the Marlborough region, and would therefore feature wines from across New Zealand and around the world.

“We will showcase Sauvignon Blanc as a variety, not just wines from New Zealand, and we have international producers from Chile, Australia, the US, South Africa, France, Italy and Austria – and from New Zealand, we have 63 producers, and regions other than Marlborough will be well represented,” he said.

In terms of topics planned for discussion, Materman said that the Sauvignon celebration would “explore the diversity of Sauvignon styles from fresh, fruity, classic styles to edgy stuff,” as well as look at “science and marketing”.

Finally, he said that the event had been in the pipeline for a long time.

“The idea of a Sauvignon Blanc event has been mooted for a number of years, a committee was formed 18 months ago, and, after many meeting and emails it is finally under way.”

In contrast, New Zealand has hosted a ‘Pinot Noir Celebration’ every three years since 2001.

The drinks business is present at the Sauvignon Celebration and will be reporting on the sessions over the next few days.

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