Thys Louw, proprietor and winemaker at Diemersdal Estate in Durbanville, is heading down-under to represent South Africa at the second-ever International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration to be held in Marlborough in the heart of the New Zealand winelands from 28 to 30 January. Louw, who is also vice-chairman of South Africa’s Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group, has been invited by the organisers of this global wine industry event to present a selection of wines to the 400 delegates after his attending the first Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in New Zealand three years ago.
Louw will be joining producers and representatives from New Zealand, Europe and America in presentations exploring the various international expressions of Sauvignon Blanc as well as collaborating on ways to attract new consumers to this popular white wine variety.
“It really is an honour for South Africa to be invited to attend this International Sauvignon Blanc event in New Zealand, a country that turned the Sauvignon Blanc industry on its head some 30 years ago when its wines led to consumers taking a new look at the variety due to the unique varietal expression of the Kiwi wines,” says Louw.
“The event is aimed at examining the current status of quality, individuality and stylistic diversity of Sauvignon Blanc from around the world, as well as looking at current trends in marketing and promotions aimed at making this the go-to white wine for consumers.”
Louw is looking forward to promoting South Africa’s unique features as a Sauvignon Blanc producing country to the winemakers, journalists, marketers, academics and scientists who will be attending the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration.
“Sauvignon Blanc is currently the second most planted white grape variety in South Africa and the most popular single variety white wine among local consumers,” says Louw. “It is
also South Africa’s leading export variety in packaged form, and with the global market for Sauvignon Blanc increasing, the variety has the potential to become the powerhouse of the South African wine industry in terms of local and global sales, as well as promoting the country’s image as a premium world-class producer.”
For more on the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, click here.
Louw says the aim in New Zealand is to present the unique diversity of South African terroir, stylistic variations in the wines and to reaffirm local producers’ commitment to playing a part in the international Sauvignon Blanc offering of quality premium wines.
He says there is no better country than New Zealand to prove the success Sauvignon Blanc can create for one nation’s wine industry.
“New Zealand produces only1% of the world’s wine, yet 17% of the entire global offering of Sauvignon Blanc,” he says. “And this is premium wine selling for top-dollar: last year the New Zealand wine industry earned R17bn from Sauvignon Blanc exports alone.
“Together with producers from around the world, South Africa will be there to contribute to increasing the footprint of this variety which continues to go from strength-to-strength.”