Welcome to Vine to Wine, this is your host Linda Moran. Petite Sirah – that robust earthy wine from California is a wine with many enthusiastic fans. But is Petite Sirah like Syrah only smaller?
The mysterious origins of Petite Sirah were finally determined when a UC Davis professor found it to be the same as a grape named Durif, a grape propagation to resist mildew. The parents of this grape are in fact Peloursin and Syrah – but unfortunately the fruit produced by the Petite Sirah is distinctly different from its parentage and should not be confused with Syrah. It seems in when grown in California the grape has taken on much more of a personality than the Durif of France. California Petite Sirah has been an important blending grape with Zinfandel as it adds complexity to the wine. Alone it can be very agreeable and often delicious. Add to that its ability to age quite a long while and you have a desirable wine. There are less than 100 wineries making Petite Sirah in California and many of them will spell the name differently which contributes to the ongoing confusion – but no matter the spelling - you will most likely find them to be slightly earthy wines, of deep color and rich tannins– some with a slight touch of black pepper. Among my favorites are Concannon and Stags Leap and if you’re looking for a great value try Bogle Petite Sirah. This grape has also done some migrating to South America so don’t be surprised if you find some from Mexico, Argentina or Brazil. And thanks for joining me on today’s Vine to Wine.