What is Petite Sirah Wine?

Petite Sirah wine has come a long way. It was used as a supportive wine until it became one of the well-established wines. Although the tradition continues today, Petite Sirah has owned its recognition as a unique varietal.

We will introduce another classy wine variety you can add to your growing wine collection.

Petite Sirah wine has a notable origin; it is the offspring of the grape varieties: Syrah and Peloursin Noir. Petite Sirah is cultivated only in a few places in Israel, Australia, and mainly California. You can tell it is a variety exceptionally rare grape variety.

What is Petite Sirah Wine?

Parent Grape Varietal and Origin Peloursin Noir + Syrah
ABV 13% to 16% ABV
Fruity Taste High
Tannin Content High
Acidity Medium
Body Type Full-bodied
Dominant Flavor black pepper, black tea, sugar plum, blueberry, dark chocolate
Notable Regions California, Israel, Australia

Petite Sirah has a high tannin content that brings out a rich and bold flavor and medium. Its acidity makes the wine stand out. Moreover, the wine is highly fruity; its common flavor notes surround blueberry and sugar plums, but it also has a distinct flavor of spice, black pepper, and black tea.

Petite Sirah wine is a full-bodied red wine with a high alcohol content of 13 to 16% ABV. Do not chug a whole bottle of Petite Sirah wine. Its high ABV can make you drunk. You have to drink Petite Sirah at the right temperature and with the right amount of wine serving.

Serving Petite Sirah warm makes it boozy and tastes like stewed or cooked fruit.

Meanwhile, if you drink it chilled, you will ruin its tannins, making it woody and more acidic.  Serve the Petite Sirah wine slightly cold, just enough for its bold aroma and taste to show off. Remember to serve it in the right glass, as it may set off the wine quality.

What is more interesting is, that Petite Sirah has high levels of anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that helps prevent inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. But, this is only beneficial to our health if we consume them moderately.

Petite Sirah Wine Flavor Profile


Petite Sirah is known for its smoky, dark berry and plum-tasting notes and shows off a mix of dark chocolate, coffee, and spices.

Those Petite Sirah wines cultivated in warmer climates have richer, bolder fruity notes and are more alcoholic. Meanwhile, those cultivated in cooler climates have slightly sour, citrus, and earthy flavors.

Besides the region’s climate, some flavors of the Petite Sirah wine depend on the winemaking process. Some brewers let Petite Sirah wines age for decades and it loses their acidity after 7 years.

History of Petite Sirah Wine

Petite Sirah is called Durif in France and places outside the United States. Durif comes from the name of the French botanist Francois Durif, who owned the nursery where the crossover variety of Syrah and Peloursin originated.

Even when the grape variety originated in France, Durif had mildew resistance. It has affected the wine quality, making Durif less recognized because its high acidity was perceived as low quality. Brewers brought the grape varietal to several places and used the variety to enhance the flavor of known wines.

Durif was cultivated and used to enhance low-quality wines until winemakers in California discovered that Petite Sirah has the same similarities with Syrah.

That’s when winemakers decided to call Durif, Petite Sirah. They thought making it sound similar to the Syrah would make wine enthusiasts recognize their similarities and appreciate Petite Sirah, and it worked!

Petite Sirah has slowly gained recognition, and winemakers have revitalized the varietal, making it high-end and well-established.

Fun fact about the popularity of Petite Sirah wine: An advocacy is set up to help market the underappreciated wine. It aims to promote and give Petite Sirah the recognition it deserves. Winemakers named the advocacy “P.S. I Love You” witty, isn’t it?

Regions of Petite Sirah Wines are Cultivated


Despite Petite Sirah originating in France; it is more cultivated in other regions like California, Australia, and Israel. A way to differentiate and understand wine varietals is to taste one from the different regions. The Petite Sirah wines in these regions have different tasting notes.


Petite Sirah is scarcely cultivated, and most of its vineyards are in California; more than 80% of the acres are cultivated and produced in California. Even when they are cultivated in the same state, the regions producing Petite Sirah wines have different climates. Hence, their wine profile differs.

Petite Sirah that are grown in warmer areas such as Central Valley and Lodi have richer fruity notes with smooth acidity. Napa has a cold climate that produces complex tasting notes. It is more intense and has rich flavors of cocoa, black pepper, and blueberry.

Meanwhile, the regions in the northern coastal areas of California and Sonoma have a cooler climate than the inland valleys and Napa; their Petite Sirah wines have a bolder structure with espresso and earthy notes.


As mentioned earlier, people outside the United States call Petite Sirah wines, Durif. The grape varieties of Rutherglen, Victoria, are almost black, which makes the wine more tannin and highly alcoholic. Meanwhile, a cultivator in New South Wales uses Petite Sirah to blend their Shiraz wine.


Petite Sirah wines are cultivated in the Tishbi and Carmel regions in Israel. Most people believe the grape variety suits the climate and soil of Israel, but the truth is Petite Sirah is grown to add more character to inexpensive blends. Its success has become impressive because the grape variety is cultivated in the regions.

5 Vineyards that Produce Petite Sirah Wine


You will be overwhelmed with the countless available Petite Sirah wines in the market. If you are looking for the best choice to start exploring Petite Sirah wines, these 5 vineyards offer the best-valued Petite Sirah wines.

  1. Carmel: Carmel is one of the reputable winemakers in Israel. Baron Edmond de Rothschild founded the vineyard in 1882. Among their fine collection of wines, their Old Vines Petite Sirah has a unique selling point. It is a rich red wine with dark berries and sweet, spicy notes.
  2. Doffo: Doffo Vineyard is known in Temecula Valley, California, as they have been offering a wide range of well-crafted wines, including their Petite Sirah Reserve 2018. The wine has rich notes of plums, blackberries, toasty vanilla, and spices.
  3. Foppiano Vineyards: Besides Doffo, Foppiano Vineyards is a long-time renowned winemaker in California. Although the winery is outstanding for their Pinot Noir, they can also cultivate Petite Sirah. Their Petite Sirah has assertive tannin notes and rich sour cherry and plum flavors.
  4. Ridge Vineyards: We all know California is the backbone of the cultivation of Petite Sirah. In California, Ridge Vineyard has played a significant role in the success and evolution of the wine industry in the state. They have produced several outstanding wines, including their Lytton Estate Petite Sirah. Ridge is bound to make the impossible possible; their 2020 Geyserville wine contains 69% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, and 3% other grape varieties. This wine does not disappoint; it offers a rich flavor of blackberries, cranberries, and spiced dark chocolate.
  5. Mettler: Another winery in California that shows off the potential of its grape variety is Mettler. Like most Petite Sirah wines with berry-tasting notes, it has a hint of sarsaparilla and sweet orange.

If you want to have the best Petite Sirah wine in the market, look for the ones produced by these vineyards.

Food Pairings for Petite Sirah Wine


Petite Sirah is a full-bodied red wine that has high tannin and smoky fruit notes. Its sharp, bitter, and fruity notes make it the best pair for richer, more fatty food or dishes with exotic herbs and spices to balance your palate.

Best Food Pairing

You can excellently pair Petite Sirah wines with spicy dishes such as curry, Chicken in molé sauce and other Southeast Asian and Mexican dishes.

If you are into charred and smokey dishes, the rich flavor of Petite Sirah wine brings out the tastiness of barbecued pork and beef. Some also love pairing their Petite Sirah wines with aged cheese and sautéed vegetables.

Petite Sirah is best served in a slightly cooler temperature to deliver bold fruit and floral characteristics. It is also perfect for pouring Petite Sirah in a decanter and letting it sit for 2 to 4 hours. Patiently wait, and you will notice the exquisite aroma and flavors of the wine coming forward.

Food Pairings to Avoid

Trying your Petite Sirah wine with lighter meals is quite a mismatch. Most of these dishes are with seafood and desserts, those with light and sweet flavors. You cannot appreciate the flavor of the food.

What is the difference between Petite Sirah and Syrah?

You might think Syrah is a misspelled word of Sirah. Petite Sirah and Syrah are different grape varieties but have similar characteristics. Petite Sirah is the offspring of Peloursin and Syrah. Syrah is an established grape variety, while Peloursin is extinct and only found in a few locations in the French Alps.

Final Takeaway

From an accidental origin to becoming one of the most notable wines, that is what Petite Sirah wine is. Petite Sirah wine is a full-bodied red wine that offers bold flavor, and high tannin, making it perfect for riched-flavored dishes. Add this uniquely delicious wine to your collection.


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