Petite Sirah Symposium 2012 – I love you PS

The last day of July 2012 was the Petite Sirah Symposium– taking place at the Martinelli Center in Livermore and I unfortunately caught in traffic.  I walk in late, find a seat and start attentively listening.  For just a fine moment I took in this room devoted to Petite Sirah.  It was my first time to attend.  I was dazzled momentarily to think this grape has the power to pack this room.  I was handed event packet and looked at this great listing of topics to come.  I guess sometimes–which I am rarely late–you get to sit near some people you might not have otherwise.  To my left was Jeff Cranor of Nottingham Cellars and to my right was David Coffaro.  David was going to speak about viticulture and have been a fan of his website-great weather metrics.  He producers Aglianico and Lagrein which is quite rare here in California; additionally he produces Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Barbera, Carignan, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, sparkling wines and red blends.  David is exceptionally nice and I really enjoyed speaking with him about what he does and hear the passion and depth of experience.

The conference also featured keynote speech by Evan Goldstein, State of the Grape by John Concannon, and Enology by David Mounts of Mounts Family Winery and Nils Venge Saddleback Cellars.  I heard a lot of experiences that were personal and apparent for a love of Petite Sirah–the difficulties of growing this grape.  Some of the presentations didn’t necessarily state on path with topic at hand but meandered nicely touching many subjects at once.  The grape trust of Petite Sirah is here in California, while in it’s native France is nearly non-existent if not entirely now foreign.  You’ll find Petite Sirah in Israel, Greece, Australia, and South Africa but you won’t find the 8,354 acres (3,300 hectares) that are now planted in California anywhere.  Interesting we are now at the highpoint of growth–that would have over twenty years ago when there were 14,215 acres (5,752 hectares)–this does not mean that Petite Sirah is on a decline.  From hard times in the 1990s this varietal has experienced grow in terms of plantings as well as number of producers–848 producers have a Petite Sirah.

Petite Sirah is on a firm ground–more than it has ever been.  Petite Sirah has had it’s down turns on several accounts–it’s name is confusing–no “Virginia it is not Syrah.”  TTB allows for Petite Syrah as a synonym which I do think helps to fan the flame of confusion and I have petitioned TTB but talking to a monolith is well like talking to a monolith.  Petite Sirah’s best exploits will be to still enjoy as a stand alone wine but to also enhance with the spicy food world of Mexican (I look forward to pairing with my Mole Poblano), Indian, Indonesian, North African, Turkish and a whole host of other cuisines.

Zinfandel has come a long way and supporting organisations like ZAP have done a great job to highlight the vast versatility and seriousness of this wine–Petite Sirah a blending budding of Zinfandel has found it’s way.  I do see Petite Sirah plantings not only remaining stable but increasing.  It is up to Petite Sirah producers to continue to do what they do and to go out there and talk about this varietal more often.

PS I love PS.





Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:

© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:             


About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
This entry was posted in Petite Sirah. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Petite Sirah Symposium 2012 – I love you PS

  1. Jo Diaz says:

    Spectacular! What a great job, James. I love all the videos…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.