Petite Sirah is gaining a growing audience in the U.S. thanks in part to the organization PS I Love You. We are often asked about this grape and its history and relationship to Syrah. Is it just a “small” Syrah? Actually no, although the two grapes are related by virtue of a botanist in Montpellier France named Durif back in the late 1800’s. It seems some wayward Syrah pollen wafted into a Peloursin Noir plant in a French nursery tryst that bore a new variety altogether. Ironically, this new grape was not that popular in France and is now mostly absent there.
However, Californians and Australians in particular have embraced it as a blending grape to add body, tannin and color to other varieties, primarily Zinfandel but also Cabernet Sauvignon. Incidentally, the word “Petite” actually refers to the small size of the berry. Small berries have a higher skin to juice ratio, thus producing more tannin and color, since those elements come primarily from the grape skin.
But enough history and detail for now – we just hope you buy some of this wine, help a charity and then thoroughly enjoy it by a warm fire with a great meal and some good friends. Toast the French and the occasional tryst and be thankful for a truly unique and delicious wine!
Jack Seifrick, Proprietor, Cast Wines