With at least 3 distinct styles of Sauvignon Blanc coming out of California it’s sometimes tough to figure out what you’re buying. There are many producers emulating the wildly successful, full throttle style popularized by most of New Zealand’s producers. Unfortunately not many regions in California are particularly well suited to this ripe, yet vibrantly green style.

California has been most successful with the rich, round style popular in Bordeaux that relies on a combination of barrel aging and additions of other grape varieties to complete the wine. Many producers have embraced the beauty of their rich, fruity wines and have chosen to age the wines in stainless steel and bottle them without any additional grapes, thus preserving the unique notes that their Sauvignon Blanc produces.

Getting to know the traits of the various regions in California can help you decipher the riddle that is California Sauvignon Blanc. Each region has its own special attributes that may translate into a distinct style. Winemakers may try to impose their will on the wines but Sauvignon Blanc is an assertive grape, whose distinctive traits are difficult to obscure.