The story of Shiraz, Syrah and Shirazi

What happens when you Google the word Shiraz? Does the first result show a glass filled with red wine? No! The highest ranked is the Wikipedia entry and although it directs one to Syrah for the wine information, it shares a few interesting facts on the other meaning of Shiraz, also the name of the fifth most populous city of Iran.

We recently had an enquiry about us stating that Shiraz originates from France. And yes, through the years legends about the origin of Shiraz have abounded. There was a time when it was generally believed that this grape variety originated in ancient Persia (present-day Iran) in the town of Shiraz.

(Interestingly enough the town of Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, wine and flowers and the now defunct wine Shirazi made from dried grapes, did originate from this town.)

Historians were of the opinion that the Shiraz vine was brought from the Middle East to Marseilles approximately 560 BC. One of the theories was also that Roman legions from Egypt carried it to Syracuse on the island of Sicily and yet another that it found its way into France through Crusaders from Cyprus returning from the Middle East in the 13th century.

However, these turned out to be nothing but romantic tales as in the late 90’s, it was declared that Shiraz actually originated from France.Using DNA testing, grapevine identification experts Carole Meredith, a professor at the University of California at Davis, and Jean-Michel Boursiquot of L’Ecole Nationale Superiore Agronomique de Montpellier, made the conclusive announcement in 2001 at a convention of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture. Shiraz, it was proclaimed, is the offspring of two obscure French varieties, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche – the former native to the Ardéche and the latter native to the Savoie.

Although the true tale might be less romantic, the varietal certainly kept its seductive powers!

Visit us on the estate to taste the 2014 La Motte Syrah or book for a special Syrah tasting and get better acquainted with this special varietal.


Try our newest La Motte Syrah wine. Buy online here!

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