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2011 Celebrations of Petite Sirah

With the science and technology available now, it has been determined that Petite Sirah is the result of cross pollination between Syrah and Peloursin.  “Dr. Francois Durif, a grape nurseryman working in southern France, released a new variety that he named after himself. It grew from a seed he extracted from fruit of the old French variety Peloursin.” (PS I Love You website.) Petite Sirah was not planted in the United States until the late 1800’s. However prior to 1961, Petite Sirah was used as a blending grape. In 1961 Concannon Vineyard bottled the first Petite Sirah varietal. Today there are thousands of acres of Petite Sirah and many wineries are bottling it as a single varietal.

Petite Sirah produces a wine that is dark, rich and full-bodied. Suggested Petite Sirah pairings include chocolate, beef roast and cheese.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this event, Concannon Vineyard in Livermore, California is planning a large celebration in August 2011. On August 13 and 14, the event will include unusual Petite Sirah items including ice cream and chocolates as well as cooking demonstrations. In addition there will be vertical tastings. As fourth generation vintner, John Concannon noted,  “I’m honored to host retrospective Petite Sirah tastings in over 50 markets across the nation this year to promote awareness of this distinctive grape in celebration of such a significant milestone.”

For more information about Petite Sirah, visit the PS I Love You website and Concannon Vineyard website. Watch for more Petite Sirah celebrations in 2011.

Cheers! Kathy

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