This content was produced in collaboration with SevenFifty and our partner, Ponga.
While many wine regions link their products to their terroir, Ponga, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, takes this approach a step further, tying its origin to the mythological silver fern for which it’s named.
Native to New Zealand, the Ponga fern is distinguished by the silvery underside of its fronds, discovered and named “kaponga” by the indigenous Māori people. Green by daylight, it’s said that the plant’s iridescent side reflects the moonlight; legend has it that the Māori used the glowing leaves to mark their paths in the dense, dark forests.
The Ponga carries a deep mythology not only for the people who named it, but for all New Zealanders. For Pākehā—New Zealanders of non-Māori descent—the fern symbolizes their love and loyalty to their homeland.
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But it also conveys a sense of adventure, part of the Māori origin story as they trekked through the islands’ dreamlike forests in search of a new beginning. It’s said that to them, the Ponga fern represented new life, growth, strength, and peace.
Today, the Ponga brand taps that unique history to tell its own story of a wine that speaks not only of discovery, but of the islands renowned for their fresh interpretation of Sauvignon Blanc. Produced and bottled in Marlborough—itself a benchmark region for the variety in New Zealand—Ponga is an invitation to look beyond the preconceptions of Sauvignon Blanc.
This bracing example has classic varietal markers such as ripe citrus, tangy grapefruit, gooseberry, and a bit of fresh herbs, but it also delivers a generous expression of tropical fruit and white peach. Without malolactic fermentation, Ponga is bottled early to retain its purity of fruit. This “dual character” of Ponga makes it a friendly by-the-glass aperitif and a food-friendly partner on the table.
Just as the fern symbolizes a unique national identity, Ponga Sauvignon Blanc represents New Zealand winemaking at its most authentic in a region well-suited for the expression of this variety. Located on the northern top of the South Island, the near-perfect climate conditions allow slow and full ripening of the grapes, while proximity to the sea provides a temperate maritime climate and breezy marine-inflected freshness (think oysters on the half shell). In keeping with its commitment to the territory, Ponga has earned the Sustainable Winegrowing NZ certification seal.
For many, the vibrant aromas and flavors of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc have become representative of New Zealand. But to find one like Ponga that truly evokes the spirit of the country, filled with adventure, discovery, and zest for life, is something special.