In the mid 1800’s, French botanist Francois Durif discovered an unusual looking grape in his nursery, the result of a natural crossing of his Syrah and Perlousin vines. He named this small, dark colored grape “Durif”, and the new variety managed to travel to California by the late 1800’s. California winemakers baptized the grape as Petite Sirah, and to this day it is considered an important part of the region’s early heritage of wine production.
Petite Sirah is related to but not the same grape as Syrah. It produces wines that are deeper in color, more astringent, and full of concentrated aromas of blueberry, black pepper, tea leaves and cocoa. Its high levels of anthocyanins provide not only the deep red pigmentation but also heart healthy antioxidants.
Petite Syrah is still considered a rare grape variety with most plantings being found in California, Israel, Australia and Chile. In the Suisun Valley of California, world renowned Caymus vineyard produces “Grand Durif”, a luscious and opulent wine with intense flavors of dark chocolate and sweet baking spices. In Napa Valley, Girard winery produces a 100% Petite Sirah from old vines, delivering a well-balanced, age worthy example of this powerful grape.
Bold wines are best when accompanied by
bold foods, so we recommend enjoying your Petite Syrah with grilled beef burgers,
BBQ ribs, or roasted pork chops. Decant
your bottle for about half an hour to allow the concentration of aromas to
fully develop. Cheers!
Author: Maytte Rivera