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Admittedly, it may not be entirely fair to put German Sauvignons in competition with those from South Tyrol and Austria. In Italy's northernmost province, Sauvignon is a long-established guarantor of quality, and in Austria's Styria region it is the leading variety par excellence. The two regions - perhaps still together with Friuli - are the most important challengers to the variety's French home regions: Loire and Bordeaux. Their best wines need fear no comparison.

In Germany, Sauvignon Blanc is currently very fashionable, but it lacks a recognisable profile. This is not surprising, since the Sauvignon cultivation area is spread over almost all wine regions in Germany. Moreover, some producers don't seem to know quite what to do with this potentially high-class but also sensitive variety. Grass-green, unripe screaming necks are just as unlikely to establish Germany as an origin of high-quality Sauvignons as sweetish, sour, everyday wines that are produced in some places from all available grape varieties for the sake of simplicity. Nevertheless, the variety has a chance to move out of its niche. Especially in Württemberg, where most of the Sauvignon pioneers are at home, in the Palatinate and in Rheinhessen, some committed producers are working on real top qualities that show what is possible - especially in view of the growing conditions that are changing with climate change.