A grape known as Syrah in France and Shiraz in Australia.
The recent popularity of this grape has made even the novice wine drinker talk like an expert in making it sound like a new discovery. It is in fact one of the oldest grapes that had been imported to France after the times of the crusades. While bottles use the label in France as Syrah, and in Australia as Shiraz, it was a grape grown in the steps regions of Persia. Hermitage in France is actually a winery of the syrah grape initially introduced into the Rhone Valley.
In the early 1800's, the grape was brought to Australia and used as a field blend for the first hundred years of its production. It has since become an item that is a signature of the offerings of unique and qualified products in the world markets from Australia. Those varieties coming out of Australia are often blended with cabernet sauvignon.
While its popularity is nearly a phenomenon in the communities of wine drinkers, restaurants and popular opinions, it is actually a delicate grape to master and does not guarantee a good, quality bottle of wine in simply growing the grapes without interference of pestilence or disease. The conditions need to be just right in order to create the often fabulous wines now being sought after. Such includes finding the right site in which to plant, and such tricks as restricting the growth of the vine and its crop to achieve the optimum flavor.
The variety of Sirah, or Shiraz, that is referred to as the Petit is simply a name that has been attached to the wine by the winemakers in different regions, rather than an actual variety of the grape itself.
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