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First world Sauvignon Blanc congress to be held in August

The position and potential of Sauvignon Blanc will be the focus of the first World Sauvignon Congress in Graz, Austria, in August 2008.

The congress is sponsored mainly by Austria´s State Government of Styria and the Interprofessional Wine Committee of Styria.

It will play host to numerous international wine researchers, members of the trade and journalists, and conduct an array of talks and seminars on the grape – one of the world´s most popular white varietals.

The basis for the three-day event, which opens on August 27, is to closely examine Sauvignon Blanc as one of the most widely-planted white grape varieties in the world.

Although the its wines are highly popular with consumers, the varietal rarely reaches the top levels of international competitions and rankings, often trumped by other, often Chardonnay-based, wines.

‘Top Sauvignon Blancs often score around five or lower points than the best Chardonnays,’ says Michael Thurner, wine consultant and an organiser of the congress. ‘So the congress will cover numerous aspects of Sauvignon in relation to whether its full potential remains to be discovered.’

Congress participants include Australia´s renowned vineyard consultant, Dr. Richard Smart speaking on the effects of global warming on Sauvignon Blanc. Mike Trought, head of the Marlborough Wine Research Centre in New Zealand, will discuss soil and climatic influences on Sauvignon taste. France’s Denis Dubourdieu, will speak about the latest research on the variety´s aromas and flavours.

The UK’s Tim Atkin MW will moderate a panel discussion on the latest Sauvignon market trends in the USA, the UK, Germany and Russia, with participants from each country in the panel.

Throughout the congress, focused comparative tastings will be conducted.

Written by Darrel Joseph

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