California Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a noble grape variety that produces some of the world’s most popular wines. In California, the wineries label their products as Sauvignon Blanc or Fumé Blanc. The wines have a range of distinctive tastes from citrus, green olive and herbaceous characteristics to a range of fruit flavors—green apple, grapefruit, pineapple, fig and melon. The flavor styles come from the Sauvignon Blanc grape itself but are also the expression of the climate, soil, vineyard practices and winemaking techniques. Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with other varietal wines, particularly Semillon, which adds a honeyed note to the wine. Generally, the wines are crisp, light, fresh and dry. A versatile food match, it pairs well with chicken, seafood, mildly spiced ethnic dishes and more.

The grape variety was first planted in California in the Livermore Valley in the 19th century. According to the 2016 California Grape Acreage Report, Sauvignon Blanc has almost 15,000 acres in California. It is the fourth-leading white wine variety behind Chardonnay (94,532 acres), French Colombard (18,961 acres), and Pinot Gris (16,718 acres).

Top California Counties for Sauvignon Blanc Acreage, 2016

County 2016 Total Acres
Napa 2,702
Sonoma 2,574
Lake 2,014
San Joaquin 1,490
Sacramento 1,205
Monterey 948
Yolo 930
Santa Barbara 743
Mendocino 689
San Luis Obispo 483
Other 974
STATE TOTAL 14,752

Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service

 

California Sauvignon Blanc Grape Crush Tonnage

Year Tons Crushed
2016 107,549
2015 88,256
2014 110,420
2013 127,655
2012 113,269
2011 79,075
2010 103,124
2009 119,448
2008 92,236
2007 106,120
2006 110,142
2005 116,857
2004 78,806
2003 82,601
2002 76,587
2001 74,411
2000 74,999
1999 52,934
1998 61,548
1997 74,701
1996 48,638
1995 64,400
1994 70,155
1993 71,636
1992 77,853
1991 81,012
1990 60,223

Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service