For International Shiraz Day 2021, we look at 11 things you may not already know about Shiraz. For shiraz wine recommendations, take a look at the article we published for World Syrah Day earlier in the year.
- Shiraz is the offspring of two now rare varietals: Dureza (from Ardèche) and Mondeuse blanche (from Savoy). This was determined from DNA studies and grape reference material.
- While DNA has shown the varietals that produced the shiraz grape, there remains debate around whether the grapes were brought from Persia (Shiraz being the ancient capital) to France.
- Shiraz, or syrah as it’s also commonly known in Old Wine countries is also known as Antourenein noir, Balsamina, Candive, Entournerein, Hermitage, Hignin noir, Marsanne noir, Schiras, Sira, Sirac, Sirah, Syra, Syrac, Serine, and Sereine.
- France has the largest shiraz plantings in the world. In 2007, it had 68,600 hectares!
- Shiraz is Australia’s most planted grape-variety with 40,000 hectares of plantings existing in 2018. Cabernet sauvignon, Australia’s 2nd most planted grape variety is significantly less with 25,000 hectares.
- The Barossa Valley has the largest single quantity of ungrafted, pre-phylloxera Shiraz vineyards.
- Australia has some of the world’s oldest shiraz vines still in production, dating back to 1843.
- In France, you’re more likely to find shiraz in a blend whereas in Australia it is favoured as a single varietal.
- Sparkling shiraz is a truly Australian creation. From the 1980s and 1990s, shiraz was made into traditional method sparkling wines. It is served cold and, in some families, is a Christmas Day tradition.
- Hunter Valley shiraz is said to sometimes “taste of baked pencils” according to Jancis Robinson, wine writer and critic! I haven’t ever eaten a baked pencil to know what it tastes like, have you?
- Due to being high in tannins, shiraz is considered to be one of the healthiest red wine varietals. Drink up!
Whether you call it shiraz or syrah, drink some today to celebrate International Shiraz Day 2021. Remember, you can find French syrah recommendations in this article.
Happy International Shiraz Day 2021!
If you’re into French wine, you may also like our articles about other French wine varietal days: