Monday, 07 January 2019 08:55

Sauvignon 19

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With Sauvignon 19 just a matter of weeks away, Tessa Nicholson asks organising Chair Patrick Materman a few pertinent questions

This is the second Sauvignon celebration - what will be new this time?

We felt the format of the last event in 2016 was very successful, and that was certainly the feedback. This time we’ve building on that foundation with a whole new line-up of speakers, some fabulous new venues and concepts for the culinary programme and themes which are pertinent to the evolution
in how Sauvignon Blanc is
made and sold.

We have a number of new wineries who didn’t attend last time, from New Zealand and overseas, and a great line up of influencers that NZW are bringing to New Zealand for the first time to attend the event.

What international countries and how many international guests are attending?

We have wineries from USA and South Africa confirmed, and we are still confirming a European winery.

Each of the panel speakers for the International tasting will then select another international Sauvignon Blanc to capture one of the themes - ‘Mountain’, ‘River’ or ‘Coast’. The wines will be influenced by one of these geographical features. 

There will be at least 100 international guests, brought out by NZW or by individual wineries. These will be key influencers who will tell our story and expand the success of Sauvignon Blanc.

Sauvignon Blanc is a renowned food wine - how will that be represented during the celebration?

An amazing culinary programme has been developed for Sauvignon 2019 which will showcase the finest New Zealand produce and also the versatility of Sauvignon Blanc. There is a theme of ‘Mountain’, ‘River’ and ‘Coast’ being expressed through the dinner locations and also the menus.

As part of the programme we also have Tim Hanni MW speaking about food and wine interactions.

What is the highlight of the three day event for you personally?

Each of the three days has a clear theme – Place, Purity and Pursuit. I’m really looking forward to the International tasting on Day 1 where we discover the influence of ‘Place’ on Sauvignon Blanc style. This theme will be enhanced by the influence of ‘Mountain’, ‘River’ or ‘Coast’ on the wine. I’m drawn to wines which show true provenance and this tasting should be fascinating.   

What do you hope is the outcome of Sauvignon 19?

Sauvignon 2019 aims to educate key influencers on the developments with this exciting variety, and for them to reach a far greater audience. We hope to gain new consumers and to retain our current consumers through building an understanding of the diversity of style and sheer quality of wines being made. Social media will play a key role in spreading the word.  

The Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium follows - how important is this?

Chris Yorke – NZW Global Marketing Director answers;

As part of our major events strategy we focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir events to bring high calibre trade and media influencers to New Zealand.  Around Sauvignon Blanc we organise a Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium and around Pinot Noir we organise Aromatics and Full bodied reds symposia.  The idea is to show the visitors our top varieties and then the diversity of our regions and other varieties with the symposia. 

The logistics of Sauvignon 19

Ever imagine what it takes to organise an event the world is watching? Well take a look at some of the logistics of Sauvignon 19. You can see why the preparation has taken well over a year.

- 11,500 Spiegelau glasses will be used during the three-day event

- Close to 100 international guests will be attending

- Guests will be transported around 17 individual locations.

- Ten cellar doors will participate in Pursuit Tastings, with each providing guests more than 150 wines to try

- At the Purity Tastings, 180 wines will be on hand for guests

- Close to 1000 picnic lunches will be prepared for guests over the three days

- Nearly 20 guest speakers will address guests during the event

- Three evening events will be held, each with a different theme

- The Gala Dinner at Brancott Vineyard is a “Blanc” white themed event (meaning guests are asked to wear all white)

- Catering will deliver to up to 550 guests at the Gala Dinner 

- Buses to transport guests will come from as far away as Christchurch 

- Hotels in the region have been booked out for months

While New Zealand is used to taking Sauvignon Blanc to the world, from January 28, the world will come to us to celebrate our flagship variety.


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