Sauvignon Blanc: Adding Value

Patrick Materman, Global Winemaker for Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Patrick Materman, Global Winemaker for Pernod Ricard Winemakers

A decade ago Patrick Materman, Global Winemaker for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, spearheaded a project to challenge all of the conventional thinking about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and to analyse the impact of different viticulture and winemaking techniques. This continuing project has fundamentally changing the way Pernod Ricard Winemakers approached Sauvignon Blanc, and has seen the development of a range of new wine styles.

Patrick presented at the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc workshop. He has kindly allowed us to share some of the highlights from his presentation. The video of the full presentation is available for members here.

Patrick and his team began the project with the aim of creating a Sauvignon Blanc that would deliver the following:

  • Breaks through the existing price point ceiling

  • Provides a ‘halo’ effect for the Brancott Estate range

  • Has great palate weight and texture

  • Has longevity

  • Shows a strong sense of place.

To achieve their objectives a working group was formed across viticulture and winemaking. Rules were challenged and multiple trials were undertaken, assessing viticultural practices and winemaking, including testing yeast strains and oak use. Extensive laboratory analysis was done. The team also invited key global wine influencers to taste and discuss the style and direction for the new wine, delivering early engagement with the new style.

Patrick believes there is huge opportunity to create style diversity with Sauvignon Blanc. However, it requires commitment and strong teamwork, involving the vineyard, laboratory, cellar, winemakers, marketing and sales. Scarcity and storytelling can combine to create further value, as evidenced by the wine created, the Brancott Estate Chosen Rows.

To read Patrick’s full presentation, including winery analysis and key wine componentry visit our resource hub.