Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Two fresh wines from Whitehaven for International Sauvignon Day

Pictured above; Marlborough on a typically stunning day

If you’re anything like me, you may feel the need to get out and celebrate something (anything) to have a break from being batoned down over the past few weeks, and this Friday 1 May offers an ideal reason to – it’s  International Sauvignon Blanc Day.

This wine is the secret of the New Zealand wine industry’s runaway success on the international wine stage because Sauvignon makes up 85.6% of the country’s wine exports. It’s the fifth biggest export earner for New Zealand, the most popular grape in the national vineyard area with 24,037 producing hectares today compared to 343 hectares nationally in 1989 (at the time the long forgotten Muller Thurgau ruled the roost, believe it or not).

This week’s daily tastings focus on our most successful wine because it’s the lead up to International Sauvignon Blanc Day and we all need a reason to focus on the positive right now. Today’s wines are a pair of siblings from Marlborough, the country’s biggest wine region. They come from Whitehaven Winery, which has asked me to host its first virtual wine tasting this Friday at 5pm on Facebook live, which is FREE to watch and join in for 15 minutes of fun and facts about Sauvignon Blanc and wine in general.

Join me for the tasting here:

Buy the wines online here: 

PS: You can join in with or without a glass of wine in hand – I hope to see you on Friday @ 5pm…


Wines of the day 

2019 Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 13% ABV $22

Whitehaven is a member of AMW, the anagram for Appellation Marlborough Wine, a group of likeminded winemakers who use 100% locally grown grapes to make their wines. This adds huge integrity to this brand and to the region. So, to the wine; this one is a blend of grapes from throughout the Marlborough region and is the winner of a double gold medal at the 2020 Sakura Japan Women’s Wine Awards as well as a slew of other gold medals at international awards this year. As importantly, I like it a lot, which is why I’m getting behind it this week…

Dry, powerful and fruity with a clean, green, crisp apply edge – like biting into a fresh Granny Smith, which is the tip of the fruit salad of flavours which unfolds in this lively wine.

2019 Whitehaven Marlborough Greg Sauvignon Blanc 13.5% ABV $28

Talk about taking things up a notch; this dry, textural Sauvignon Blanc has incredible weight, refreshing green herb flavours and a long, fleshy finish – it’s a stunning dry white grown on the dramatic banks of the Awatere River, south of Blenheim. This is not only the top tier of Whitehaven’s production, it tastes like it.
The grapes in this wine were grown on the Alton Downs Vineyard in the Awatere Valley, south of Blenheim, which has a cooler climate with more wind and crisper nights, resulting in grapes and wines with intensely fresh flavours, such as this.
Greg Sauvignon Blanc is made in honour of the late Greg White, co founder of Whitehaven Wines with his wife, Sue, who runs the winery today.

  • Whitehaven was established in 1994.