Europe has a long tradition of making wine, as early as the time of the Pharaohs and ancient Rome. Some of the oldest grapes known, like the zibibbo grape, come from Alexander the Great’s times and can still be seen growing in Alexandria today.
These vineyards have produced many favorites like chardonnay or pinot grigio. From the Massif Central mountains to the Loire River valley below, one French wine comes to mind. Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp acidic white wine that dates to the 15th – 16th centuries.
Where did Sauvignon Blanc originate?
This wine originated from the Loire River Valley in France. Some of the earliest known records of this vintage can be traced back to the 1500s. The chronicles mention “fiers,” a synonym for wine at the time.
Then in Bordeaux, there is mention of the wild vine again. In the mid-1750s, Sauvignon Blanc pops up but this time as part of a cross with cabernet franc, making cabernet sauvignon.
Sauvignon is derived from French, combining two words with being precise. Sauvage translates to “wild,” and Vigne means “vine.” These vines are vigorous, fast-growing plants, and their shape is like those of wild grapevines.
What region of France is Sauvignon Blanc from?
The most precise answer would be to say from the Loire River valley in central France. The river itself runs from the Massif Central mountains, west of the Swiss Alps, down through the center of France before banking west for the Atlantic Ocean.
The climate of the Loire River Valley is a rather cool oceanic continental, with autumn and winter being the rainiest seasons. However, typical weather patterns have regular rainfall throughout the year.
A few well-known cities associated with the Sauvignon Blanc are from the mountains and down the river. Orleans is first on our list, and we arrive there by boat to find the countryside dotted with vineyards.
Similarly, Tours and Nantes are dotted with vineyards until we reach the port city of Saint Nazaire.
Why do people think it originated in Italy or Spain?
Rather a funny question. If someone were to take a moment and do an easy google search, they would immediately find information on the Loire valley.
Unfortunately, not all people are privy to geographical knowledge and may easily misunderstand which part of Europe is a part of the discussion.
Humans are human; we make mistakes, especially after a few glasses of wine. Italy and Spain have rich histories in making wines, just not the original Sauvignon Blanc.
Final Thoughts on Sauvignon Blanc’s Origin
To keep it relatively simple, Sauvignon Blanc comes from central France, originating in the Loire River valley.
The word’s roots are sauvignon (wild) – vinge (vine), which describes the fast-growing wild grapevine. The climate of the Loire River Valley is oceanic continental. Typical weather patterns call for regular rainfall throughout the year.