Jo Burzynska writes, “Most years I’ve managed to attend the major Wines of Chile tasting held in London, where of late I’ve started to see sauvignons that should strike fear into the hearts of any New Zealand sauvignon-makers resting on their laurels.”
It is well-known throughout the wine community that Chile is producing exquisite Sauvignon Blancs, and becoming a significant competitor for other markets like New Zealand. It is also well-known that both countries are New World terroir gems.
Despite possessing similar maritime characteristics and climate conditions, the primary difference between wines from Chile and wines from New Zealand lies in winemaking style and diversity.
Felipe Marin, of Casa Marin, points out to the Herald that Chile shows “greater stylistic diversity,” along with gastronomic compatibility, creating a current advantage over New Zealand. Furthermore, Chile is discovering and exploring previously-untouched locations for planting new vineyards.
Brian Bicknell, a former Errazuriz winemaker who now works in New Zealand, affirms Chile’s innovation and comments on the significant intensity and flavor of Chilean Sauvingon Blancs, noting, “Chile has the climate to do it and is still discovering the sites and regions to make better wines.”
In any case, the competition is heating up between the two Sauvignon Blanc powerhouses.
“As Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand’s flagship,” points out Marin, “the Kiwis have to keep surfing the crest of a wave in order to hold that reputation.”