The original Vinum Sauvignon Blanc glass (left), and the new Veritas Sauvignon Blanc glass (right)
To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the very first Sauvignon Blanc glass, Riedel has released a new glass for this aromatic white wine within its Veritas series. Riedel Australia and New Zealand collaborated with the Marlborough region, which inspired the original glass, to design the new product to suit the variety’s evolving New World style.
In 1986, 10th generation Georg Riedel debuted his ground breaking series Vinum, the first in history to feature glassware designed through a workshop process for specific wine varieties. However on a trip to Marlborough, NZ, in 1997, he realised that the series was missing a product suitable for New World Sauvignon Blanc. At the following workshop at Marlborough’s Cloudy Bay winery, winemakers, sommeliers and experts confirmed it: the brand’s existing glasses did not bring out the ideal balance in the region’s specific style.
Over the coming months, Riedel designed and distributed several new prototypes to over 1000 tasters worldwide, including 250 across Australia and New Zealand, and the findings of this glass survey led to the creation of the Vinum Sauvignon Blanc glass.
In the lead up to the glass’ 20th anniversary, Riedel Australia and New Zealand’s Managing Director, Mark Baulderstone, began discussions with the Marlborough region about how the variety was changing.
“Wine styles inevitably evolve over the years, as a result of winemaking techniques, changing climate, and trend,” said Mark. “Marlborough believed that our existing glass was no longer perfect for their wines and, with 40% of the white wine consumed in Australia coming from New Zealand, we had to listen. We successfully designed a Pinot Noir glass for Central Otago last year, and we know New Zealand is a huge player in this part of the world when it comes to wine consumption. In order to continue to stand by our brand philosophy, we need to evolve with them.”
In June 2016, Mark hosted another workshop with tasters from 15 different wineries including Greywacke, Villa Maria, Cloudy Bay, Brancott Estate, Whitehaven, and Wairau River, and Giesen. While the original Sauvignon Blanc provided a fantastic benchmark for the workshop and was one of the top performers, it also met stiff competition from a couple of Riedel’s newer shapes.
At the same time, 11th generation Maximilian Riedel was hosting Sauvignon Blanc workshops on the other side of the world, looking at examples of the variety from different regions in Italy and across Europe. With additional workshops held in Australia in late 2016 to further test the shapes, a new prototype was revealed as the best performer, and developed at the end of the year.
The new Veritas Sauvignon Blanc glass features a slightly taller, more tapered bowl, to further develop the fruit-driven New World style, and an elegant thin Veritas stem.
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