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After Sauvignon Blanc, What’s Next?

After Sauvignon Blanc, What’s Next?

Cast your line…


Sauvignon Blanc is still the most popular white wine variety consumed, accounting for the vast majority of all white wine sales in Australia. It is a high yielding crop, thrives in most regions, is quite disease resilient, and the public are mad for it. But like anything in life, too much of a good thing leaves you wanting something else. Sales have flattened out in the last few years as we look for alternatives.

Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. These two are making serious inroads with white wine drinkers, and deservedly so, as they are generally well suited to most cuisine. Pasqua Pinot Grigio (Italy) is a great example from where the style originated. The Vidal Pinot Gris from Hawkes Bay NZ is also worth seeking out. The Adelaide Hills produce great examples too. Bleasdale and Zonte’s Footsteps should be on your shopping list.

Rosé . The industry is going mad for Rosé right now. The producers are all trying to emulate the French, especially the Provence region, which makes beautiful easy drinking styles of Rosé. It always screams pan-fried salmon to me. It also is a great match with chili crab. Rosé actually outsells white wine in France nowadays. It is such a versatile wine, and pairs well with red meats.

My go-to is the 83 Provence Rosé (France). It has attitude, elegance and where many are quite nondescript, this wine has presence. From Australia, try the RockBare ‘Wild Vine’ from McLaren Vale SA. From New Zealand, the Villa Maria Organic Rosé ticks all the right boxes. All are around the $20 mark at Corker Cellars.

Riesling. This is without doubt my ‘desert island’ wine variety. Most winemakers in Australia will echo that statement. It truly is an underrated and undervalued variety. The Clare Valley and Eden Valley regions of Australia dominate the show results, but this variety is suited in other regions too. The Great Southern region of Western Australia, Tasmania, Canberra, and parts of Victoria are producing great Rieslings. Pikes ‘Traditionalle’ (Clare Valley, SA) and St Hallett (Eden Valley, SA) never fail to impress, while West Cape Howe from Mt Barker, WA (Halliday’s Top 100) is an absolute bargain.

Chardonnay. This has been enjoying a major resurgence in Australia. Gone are the days of heavily oaked and ripe styles. Winemakers are finding the right regions for the variety and producing wines of extreme elegance and purity, letting the fruit shine. Look out for examples from Western Australia, Adelaide Hills, Tasmania and the Yarra Valley (Vic).


There are so many choices out there, and it can get a little confusing. Register at Corker Cellars stores for their free regular wine-tasting sessions, and come along and try before you buy. Call Corkers Cellar Hope Island at (07) 5514 8511, or Corkers Cellar Sanctuary Cove at 07 5514 8511.


By Alfie Pardoe