Wine Fact Sheets
Syrah is a noble grape variety that can produce some serious, long-lived red wines. The usual aroma and flavor descriptors include blackberry, cassis, black pepper, smoke, as well as dry, dark and tannic.
The Syrah Grape
Through DNA testing, Syrah has shown to be a cross of a black variety, Dureza, and a white variety, Mondeuse, both with origins in France’s Rhône region and earlier fabled origins in the Middle East. The grape is also known as Sirah, and in Australia and South Africa, it is called Shiraz. It should not be confused with Petite Sirah, which is altogether a different grape variety, identified more recently as Durif through DNA testing.
Although Syrah acreage has existed in California for some time, such as the pre-Prohibition plantings in Mendocino County, substantial plantings have occurred in the 1990s. Today, as of 2016, the most acreage is in San Luis Obispo County with 2,346 acres, followed by San Joaquin County, 1,852 acres, and Sonoma County, 1,691 acres. Syrah’s grape crush of 108,355 tons in 2016 accounted for 2.6 percent of the total state winegrape crush.
Top 10 California Counties for Syrah Acreage, 2016
|County||2016 Total Acres|
|San Luis Obispo||2,346|
California Syrah Grape Crush Tonnage