What's the difference between Sancerre and Sauvignon Blanc?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What's the difference between Sancerre and Sauvignon Blanc?

—Denis W., Canton, N.Y.

Dear Denis,

Simply, all Sancerres are Sauvignon Blancs, but not all Sauvignon Blancs are Sancerres.

Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine grape, while Sancerre is the name of a wine region in France’s Loire Valley where the white wines from are made exclusively from Sauvignon Blanc. White wines from Sancerre are known for their vibrant acidity and flinty notes. (There is also a small amount of red and rosé wine from Sancerre that is made from Pinot Noir.)

It’s a little complicated, because you won’t see the words “Sauvignon Blanc” on a bottle of Sancerre. That’s because labeling laws in Europe only require a wine’s region to be listed. If you want to know what grapes are grown in what region, you’re going to have to do some studying. Delicious studying.

—Dr. Vinny

France Loire Valley White Wines Sauvignon Blanc Ask Dr. Vinny

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