D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Episode 32: Sauvignon Blanc Day: A Toast to New Zealand!

Sauvignon Blanc Day: A Toast to New Zealand!
May 7th is Sauvignon Blanc day but we’ll be celebrating all week! Join the Wine Thieves at ground zero for new world sauvignon blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand. John and Sara explore its rise to prominence from the first plantings in the 1970s, through to its explosion on the international scene in the 1990s, and now to the current ‘third wave’ (a good third wave, that is) of producers that are breaking rules and leading the country in new stylistic directions.

Joining the discussion is James Healy, co-founder with Ivan Sutherland, of Dog Point wines in Marlborough. James was chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay in the 1990s before striking out on his own, and thus really was at ground zero of the New Zealand and Marlborough sauvignon blanc international explosion. He tells us what the secret of success was, and about a new initiative called Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) and its importance and gaining prominence. 
We’re also joined by Matt Deller, Master of Wine and Chief Global Sales & Marketing Officer for the Villa Maria group founded by Sir George Fistonich in the middle of last century in Auckland. ‘Villa’, as it’s known, has grown to be one of the larger and most admired players in the industry, and Matt discusses the company’s commitment to organics and sub-appellations. 
In the final segment of the show, the Thieves welcome Erica Crawford of Loveblock winery and the co-creator, with husband Kim, of the hugely successful Kim Crawford brand, which they sold a decade and a half ago to Constellation Brands. Erica falls in love with sauvignon all over again making wines in the style she loves to drink, shares insight into the rapid commercial success of New Zealand sauvignon blanc, praises Lord of the Rings, and reveals how high grade tea powder might just change winemaking for the better. Grab a well chilled glass of crunchy sauvignon and settle in to a great discussion.
This episode was produced in partnerships with New Zealand Winegrowers.