Petite Sirah


Name of varietal: Petite Sirah
Common synonyms: Durif, Petit Syrah, Petit Sirah, Petite Syrah (and other combinations thereof)
Parentage of the grape: Peloursin and Syrah from Rhone, France
History of the grape: Petite Syrah is often confused with its parent grape, Syrah, but it has been identified as a separate descendant. It was developed in the 1870s by a French horticulturalist, Francois Durif, who crossed Peloursin and Syrah in attempts to create a hybrid that was resistant to the powdery mildew (Oidium) epidemic. But it failed to meet quality standards and was still susceptible to bunch rot so it never quite caught on except as a blending grape. In the 1880s, California wine-maker Charles Melver planted it in his Mission San José vineyard and is credited as being the first to change its name from Durif to Petite Syrah. From there, the grape gained local popularity, particularly in the 1940s when efforts were made to produce wines with bolder flavor Read more »

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