Are they the same thing? Yup – pretty much. Sauvignon Blanc is the grape; Fumé Blanc is a marketing name that was made up by Robert Mondavi to sell Sauvignon Blanc at a time when it wasn’t popular. Others adopted it. He got the idea for the name from the French Sauvignon Blanc of the Loire Valley in France called Blanc Fumé. Clever, no?
For practical purposes, it’s sort of traditional for Sauvignon Blanc to be un-oaked and Fumé Blanc to be oaked, because Bob Mondavi barrel aged his Fumé. But, it won’t always hold true. More information