Classic aromas of Petite Sirah are: Blackberry, Boysenberry, Black Plum and Dark Chocolate
Petite Sirah is the most famous name for this grape varietal yet traditionalists in France will often call it Durif. Petite Sirah does indeed come from France and is believed to have originated here since before the 1860s. It was first officially discovered in 1860 in the Francois Durif vineyard – which explains the name.
It was in 1884 when Durif was imported into California by Charles McIver of Linda Vista winery. Over the course of the following 100 years Durif changed its name to Petite Sirah, for marketing reasons, and soon became one of the most planted grapes in all of California. It was, and still is, prized for its hardy resistance to extreme heats.
California is still the home to the world’s majority share of Petite Sirah, closely followed by France. Australia and South Africa also have significant plantings of the grape varietal, as does Mexico, Chile and Brazil.
Petite Sirah produces wines that are full bodied and rich in flavour. When particularly ripe it gives bold flavours of blackberry, black plum and cocoa powder. Often you will get flavours of boysenberry and raspberry jam coming through as well – particularly with a bit of age.