Country of origin: France
Berry color: Green
Common synonyms: Fume blanc, Savagnin Musque, Sauvignon Jauve, Blanc Fume, Fume, Surin, Fie dans le Neuvillois, Punechon, Puinechou,Gentin a Romorantin, Muskat Silvaner, Feigentraube
Comments: The TTB-approved prime name is Sauvignon blanc (Fume blanc)
Sauvignon blanc has been grown for several centuries in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. The exact origin is unknown.
Vines grow vigorously in many soil types in both cool and warm regions; it is generally advisable to avoid highly fertile and deep soils. Vine spacing should be a minimum of 6 feet. Shoots grow upright, which facilitates vertical-shoot-positioned trellises. Budbreak is after Chardonnay.
Head training with fruiting canes and renewal spurs is recommended due to low basal bud fertility; however, cordon training with spur pruning is common. Hedging is recommended no earlier than mid- to late July in order to avoid increasing berry size. Mechanical pre-pruning on cordon-trained vines facilitates the removal of canes that are held in the trellis wires by a large number of tendrils. Machine box pruning is successfully used in warm-climate districts.
As a varietal wine, Sauvignon blanc is dry or slightly sweet. It is commonly blended with Semillon. In a cooler climate it has a strong varietal character that is less pronounced in a warm area. If harvested late, or if noble rot occurs, it will produce a very sweet wine.
Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis is the source of Foundation grapevine material for the nursery industry, and the staff can provide information about possible sources for obtaining this stock.
The National Grape Registry (NGR) contains information about varieties of wine, juice, and table grapes, raisins, and grape rootstocks available in the United States. Growers, nurseries, winemakers and researchers can find background information and source contacts for those grape varieties in this single convenient location.
Nelson-Kluk, S. 2002. Sauvignon blanc Selections at FPMS (pdf). Foundation Plant Services Grape Program Newsletter. University of California, Davis, California. Fall 2002:6-9.
Sweet, N. 2010. Sauvignon blanc: Past and Present (pdf). Foundation Plant Services Grape Program Newsletter, University of California, Davis, California. October 2010:18-31.