The marquee white grape of the Loire Valley, Sauvignon Blanc isn’t only popular with experts and French vintners: Sauvignon Blanc is America’s most popular grape variety according to data from both BevAlc Insights AND The IWSR – and it is likely to remain a leader. Beloved for its charming citrus flavors and acidity that makes it a wine pairing phenom on the table, French Sauvignon Blancs like the ones from the Loire Valley are on the rise. In fact, these wines are even appealing to Gen Z drinkers, who are known for eschewing most classic wines.
“Since these consumers are still in the first stages of their wine journey, they’re not quite ready to commit to more expensive wines and multiple bottles (as opposed to more experienced, older consumers). We’re also noticing the Gen Z contingent preferring fresher wines like rosé and sauvignon blanc,” Rene Brown, a wine educator at Napa’s Sequoia Grove Winery told BevAlc Insights.
Though this grape variety likely originated in Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc its best, most characteristic qualities in the Loire Valley, where a cool-climate allows it to thrive. Sauvignon Blanc is rarely blended with other grapes and traditionally yields dry, fresh wines ideal for early consumption. With their distinctive aroma, which reminds some people of gooseberries and other of grapefruit and their fresh, lively acidity, these are ideal wines for spring as the weather warms up and fresh produce and seafood take center stage.
More importantly, Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs align with current consumption trends. They’re fresh and light, lower alcohol, and boast reasonable prices across the board – making them equally valuable for buyers looking to entice new customers and thirsty drinkers looking for a fresh take on their favorite grape variety.