An Introduction to Petit Syrah Wines

Originally a French variety called Durif, named after the grape breeding botanist, François Durif, it has all but disappeared in France. Brought to California in 1884, mislabeled and misspelled as Petite Sirah, its Californian plantings have grown to almost 7,000 acres, the best of which are pockets of old vines dating back to the early twentieth century. While the apogee of its fame may be in California, it has also found a home in Washington State and Mexico, and especially in the state of Victoria in Australia. Petite Sirah makes varietal wines but is most often employed as a blending wine to add its deep colour, full body and rich black fruits to other grapes, most often Zinfandel. The most famous versions of this might be the wines of Ridge Vineyards. The most notable monovarietal versions of Californian Petite Sirah are made by Foppiano and Turley Cellars, and several others.

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