From his office at Cloudy Bay, Jim White enjoys the view so much that he had to put it on a wine bottle.
The technical director’s window at the New Zealand winery opens up to the Richmond Ranges in Marlborough, but the starkly beautiful landscape is more than just decoration: it is integral to the runaway success that Cloudy Bay has enjoyed since 1985.
“It’s this place that really sets the hallmarks of our sauvignon blanc,” White said.
Cloudy Bay started when founder David Hohnen tasted his first Marlborough sauvignon blanc in 1983. Captivated by its intensity, he began a journey to create his version and share it with the world. Two years later, Hohnen and winemaker Kevin Judd launched Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc to international acclaim.
“It’s the sunniest place in New Zealand, and that helps to develop the intense fruit characteristics both aromatically and in the mouth as well,” White said.
The bottle also played a major role in Cloudy Bay’s accomplishments. According to White, it was one of the first wineries in the world to announce a wine by its grape variety instead of the region, and the minimalist label set it apart from the competition.
For 2022, the bottle containing their iconic wine has been entirely redesigned. The label is now emblazoned on a canvas-feel paper stock with a die-cut silhouette of the Richmond Ranges. This motif is also embossed on the glass for a distinct tactile feel.
“This is only the third time that we’ve changed the label, and we wanted to continue those really distinctive elements that made it so recognisable back when it came out in 1985,” White said.
The new design also represents a step forward for Cloudy Bay’s global sustainability efforts. The bottle is made in New Zealand from recycled glass, and the accredited cardboard packaging is fully recyclable.
“That’s only a very small part of our sustainability programme,” White said. “At the moment, we’re putting a 400-kilowatt solar power system to generate electricity for our winery. And we have a whole lot of other sustainable practices, which go all the way back to our vineyards, our soils, our water, and our waste products.”
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc’s fresh new look belies the challenging 2022 vintage. While the growing season was optimal, heavy rain right before harvest threatened to derail the grape’s potential. But a mixture of terroir and technique brought the wine safely to bottle.
“It’s these more challenging years that we really see the strength and importance of our vineyard sites,” White said. “Despite the troublesome weather, the fruit was perfect, which is pretty remarkable, really.”
This resulted in a wine that is a lot more citrus-forward this year, delivering vivid reminders of grapefruit, guava, and passionfruit. “I always describe it in colours,” White said. “It’s a bit more yellow-green this year, while the 2021 vintage was more yellow. For the stone fruit characteristic, it’s more crunchy white nectarine than ripe peach. But it’s still very much in the typical Cloudy Bay spectrum.”
To experience the new vintage, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022 will be served at Open Farm Community‘s Weekend Brunch from 4 November 2022 to 4 April 2023, which offers free-flow of the new wine alongside dishes made from local and regional produce. The Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022 is also available at Cold Storage for S$46.
Open Farm Community’s Weekend Brunch with Cloudy Bay
4 November 2022 – 4 April 2023
Saturdays & Sundays, 11am – 3.30pm
S$55++per hour, per pax
Find out more about Cloudy Bay and Open Farm Community on social media:
@cloudybay #FirstTasteAlways @openfarmcommunity
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