The Ultimate Guide to Viognier – 5 Facts Worth Knowing
By Cathy Howard • 12.12.2021
By Cathy Howard • 25.04.2020
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wine grapes in the world, prized for its unique citrusy, fruity aroma and refreshingly high acidity.
We planted this grape variety in our vineyard in 2004. After an inspiring trip to Austria for the World Sauvignon Blanc Conference in 2008, we settled upon the style for our wine, which was to combine some barrel fermentation with an extended period of time maturing on yeast lees, producing a beautifully textured and intensely flavoured wine. It just so happens, that this style is one that pairs well with food.
Elevage is a french term for the “bringing up” or “raising” of a wine from its raw state immediately post-alcoholic fermentation to the point where it can be bottled. What makes our Sauvignon Blanc shine, and what makes it different from many others in Australia, is that maturation on yeast lees for up to 12 months in oak barrels and the tank.
The fruity flavours of the Elevage Sauvignon Blanc are best described as white peach, ripe pear and lemon, with hints of gooseberry, guava and lemongrass flavours. There are also flavours of brioche and roasted cashews from the barrel fermentation and a soft velvety mouthfeel from the time in contact with the yeast lees.
We make another, very different style at Whicher Ridge, one which has Semillon blended in which is the Odyssey Garden Sauvignon Blanc, and the flavours for this wine are more in the citrus, lemon spectrum.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France in the South West of France.
The grape gets its name from the French words sauvage (wild) and blanc (white) due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in the South West of France.
The flavours in sauvignon blanc vary widely depending on the soils and climate that the grapevines are growing in, and upon the style of wine that the winemaker decides to make.
Flavours range from freshly cut grass, green capsicum and asparagus, through to citrus flavours like lemongrass, ripe lemons and gooseberry, to white peach and nectarine, ripe pear, passionfruit and honeydew melon, and even tropical fruit flavours like guava.
Sauvignon Blanc can be fermented and matured in oak barrels on it’s the yeast lees. This rounded, more lush style is what our Elevage Sauvignon Blanc is all about. This wine is very textural with a creamy mouthfeel and has more complex flavours of nutty, roasted cashew and brioche flavours.
Sauvignon Blanc is a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, the other parent being Cabernet Franc
The style that we make our Elevage Sauvignon Blanc, with it’s focus on a creamy, textural mouthfeel, is a wine style which pairs easily with a wider range of dishes.
So to celebrate the variety, and to share our love and passion for it, I am sharing with you 3 of my favourite recipes that pair beautifully with our wine star, Elevage Sauvignon Blanc.
We have many of the ingredients already planted in the Wine Sensory Garden, such as dill, caperberry, lemon, lemon basil, coriander, lemon thyme and rosemary.
The third recipe is one of our all time favourites and ‘go to recipes’, Smoked Salmon Tartlets, which takes inspiration directly from plantings in our Wine Sensory Garden.
I am a winemaker with over 30 years of winemaking experience. I moved to South Australia from Tasmania in 1995, after working for Pipers Brook Vineyard and Cascade Brewery. I worked at Orlando Wines, then St Hallett Wines in the Barossa Valley, and in 2002 I moved to Margaret River in Western Australia, to work as Chief Winemaker for Watershed Wines. I have gained a solid reputation for making high quality premium wines, most notably Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. I also enjoy writing, and every blog on our Whicher Ridge website is my own!
Favourite Pastimes – owning horses and dogs, gardening, farm life
Whicher Ridge acknowledges the Wadandi people of the Noongar Land and recognises their connection to culture, community and Country. We pay our respects to their elders, past and present. Whicher Ridge supports the Uluru Statement.