The distinctive flavours and aromas of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc have captivated consumers around the world and intrigued scientists eager to explore the variety’s unique characteristics from multiple perspectives – in the vineyard, the winery and the sensory attributes evident in a glass of wine.
Enter the 'Sauvignon Blanc Project' (co-funded by New Zealand Winegrowers and the Foundation of Research, Science and Technology).
This six-year research programme, starting in 2004, incorporated multidisciplinary research into the myriad components that combine to create New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc:
- Vineyard location
- UV light exposure
- Viticultural practices
- Harvest technologies
- Yeast selection
- Bottle closure
- Temperature of shipping containers
Research from the Sauvignon Blanc Project and its successor, “Sauvignon Blanc II”, provided the New Zealand wine industry with new tools for driving flavour and quality in New Zealand wines.
Viticulturists and winemakers have since adopted many of the findings into everyday practice, particularly those found to enhance varietal thiols, such as mechanical harvesting and reducing oxidation.