Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough


Located at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, Marlborough is home to the Kiwi’s largest wine growing region. Its international reputation has been cemented with the production of some excellent Sauvignon Blanc, along with some very nice Chardonnay and Riesling, and it is now flirting with Pinot Noir. However, fully one-third of the region is planted to Sauvignon Blanc, making it akin to the national grape. And, it’s no wonder – with plenty of sun, cool nights, and very little autumn rain, the well-drained gravel-laced alluvial soils make a comfortable home to the grape.

So, it should come as no surprise that a new Marlborough producer, Long Boat, is also concentrating on Savignon Blanc (“Savi” in Kiwi). However, they’ve decided to push the envelope and grow the wine at an elevation of 400-1,000 feet in the more remote Awatere and Waihopai Valleys, rather than on the flatlands of the Wairau. They feel the added stress of the vines should produce wines with more intense flavors.

Join us as we talk with Craig Murphy, winemaker and winery manager for Long Boat, about the country, the region, and Long Boat’s own unique style of “Savi.”

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA:

Click Below to Play the Show:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Show #231
(41:58 min 30MB)

5 Responses to “Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough”

  1. 1 Morris Johnston Jan 26th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Hi guys.

    Thanks for the latest episode. Very interesting. I’ve got a link
    below, which shows that Sauv Blanc is becoming more popular in
    Australia than Chardonnay. Apparently primarily because people of a
    particular age don’t necessarily want to drink what their parents
    drink, which is kind of dopey to me. But both NZ and Aussie Sauv
    Blanc and Semillon Sauv Blanc are as you say, great on a hot day, or as a summer alternative.

    On another issue, Australia is moving towards changing tokay to topaque

    Thanks for the show. Absolutely love it.

    Morrie Johnston,

    Warriewood, NSW, Australia

  2. 2 GrapeRadio Bunch Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Hi Morrie!

    Thanks for the comments on the show, and for the links. I found it interesting to read Casella’s impression that “People today don’t want to drink what their parents drank and their parents drank chardonnay,” and, I suppose a generational change easily be a factor. But, as the article mentions, one has to wonder if the opportunity of a large price differential between Sauv Blanc and Chard didn’t have more to do with it. And, given Yellow Tail’s own approach to gaining market share, that certainly ought to have crossed his mind too.


  3. 3 Tanya Jan 27th, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    thanks for such an impressive podcast about the most beautiful region in New Zealand – a wine growing one! I really think the country’s industry of wine is increasing and thus it makes all wine lovers to reconsider their tastes and indulge themselves in more intense veritable flavors of NZ wine. It must be slap-up!

    Tanya Shekhovtsova. 🙂

  4. 4 Tim Meranda Jan 28th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I have been trying to “share this” with a friend via email and can’t seem to get it done. Any hints on how this works?

  5. 5 GrapeRadio Bunch Jan 28th, 2009 at 1:49 pm


    Click on the “Share This” under the show time. Select the E-MAIL Tab, fill in the info and viola! I tried sending one to myself at my work address, and got this message with an embedded link:

    hey, check this out
    Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough

    Now, I DID get a weird message that the email was not valid, but it showed up at my doorstep anyway.

    Hope this helps.


Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Monthly Archives



GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

GrapeRadio has received numerous awards and honors including the 2008 James Beard Award for excellence in Journalism.

GrapeRadio has been the subject of numerous news reports by: The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, The Financial Times of London, and Wired Magazine.