Petite Sirah Grape Varietal Definition

By Gayot Editors

Petite Sirah is a grape with a checkered history in the U.S. First brought to the continent in the nineteenth century as Syrah (the great red grape of France’s Rhône Valley), later clones were identified as Durif, a minor red varietal of the Rhône.

Recent DNA mapping technologies in California indicate that various varietals are among those grapes identified as Petite Sirah. Depending upon a given vineyard’s location and age, various clones of Durif, Peloursin, Mondeuse, Grenache, Zinfandel, Carignane and Syrah may be present.

In practice, the so-called Petite Sirah generally produces wines of deep red color and lusty character that require aging.