Shiraz is becoming one of the leading grape variety around the world. During our event we were interested in the latest trends regarding this grape variety and we interviewed some of the leading Shiraz experts.
How about the history of the Shiraz
Shiraz is named after the ancient Persian city of Shiraz, once renowned for producing the finest wine in the Middle East. But the modern-day red wine known as “Shiraz” is not related to the city’s legendary Shiraz varietal, which was white.
The name is a modern homonym – popularised in Australia – for the grape variety Syrah, originating from the northern Rhône Valley in France. Syrah, described as a tannic, purple, sharp wine that matures splendidly, remains the main grape of the northern Rhône, associated with classic wines such as Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie – although like most other French appellations (AOCs) and regions, there is no tradition of varietal labelling. In southern Rhône it is part of the blends of Châteauneuf-duPape, Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône, usually with Grenache.
But the popularity of Syrah/Shiraz today extends worldwide, as the world’s 7th most grown grape variety. Besides France and Australia, it is successfully produced in countries like Chile, South Africa, and Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand, California, and Washington State. Syrah is also grown in some regions of Italy.