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Wines made from Petite Sirah have high tannin levels, deep pigments and age well. It is an excellent blending grape, but can also make impressive wines on its own. The flavor profile of Petite Sirah is similar to a mix between Zinfandel and Syrah. While full-bodied and spicy, it is rarely as jammy as Zinfandel.

Petite Sirah yields are quite high and are usually over 4 tons per acre. The grape thrives in many soil types, but is more sensitive to changing weather patterns.

Until the 1960s, most California Petite Sirah was lost in jug blends generically labeled, “Burgundy.” There are currently over 3,000 acres of Petite Sirah planted in California. Grape bunches are tight and can be susceptible to rot. The vines are versatile and high yielding.

Petite Sirah’s genetic identity was discovered in 2003. The Petite Sirah grape had been something of an enigma before it was proven to be genetically identical to the Durif varietal. Durif was developed in France during the 1870s by Dr. Francois Durif.

However, it was never very successful in France and was a tricky varietal to grow. The grape clusters are very compact and quite susceptible to rot. Additionally, too much direct sun exposure will make Petite Sirah wines taste baked.

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