Loire wine producers are reclaiming Sauvignon Blanc to combat growing New World competition.

Former Marks & Spencer buyer Sam Harrop is spearheading a project to highlight the stylistic diversity of AOC Touraine and Vin de Pays Sauvignon Blanc to the UK market and offer technical assistance to growers in the region.

Twenty-nine 'ambassador wines' have been selected to represent the project, backed by 100,000 from InterLoire and other agencies. A consumer campaign may follow in 2010.

"There's a homogenisation happening in the export market, where you see these tropical, gooseberry styles," said Harrop. "We want to focus on a different, lower-alcohol style that embraces natural acidity and elegance personality and character that many New World regions don't display."