Petite Sirah has played a significant role in the history of California winemaking. Until recently, the specific origins of this variety were unknown. With DNA research, it was determined that Petite Sirah in California is mainly Durif, a grape variety developed in France during the 1880s. Durif is a cross between Peloursin, an obscure varietal found in the South of France, and Syrah from the Rhone Valley. Although never popular in France, Durif was widely planted in California early in the 20th century and referred to by most growers as Petite Sirah.
Along California’s Central Coast, the Paso Robles appellation of San Luis Obispo County provides an ideal climate for growing Petite Sirah. A dry climate promotes flavor development of the grapes. The Steinbeck Vineyard is located on a north-facing hillside. The Diablo soil is deep and well-drained with weathered calcareous sandstone and shale below a surface layer of a dark clay. 1103 Paulsen rootstock is well-suited to this region and varietal.
Winemakers Anthony Riboli and Arnaud Debons employ traditional techniques to preserve the individual flavors and terroir and each parcel of land. Our Petite Sirah reveals deep, inky purple color. Aromas of blackberry, ripe plum, and thyme greet the nose. Aging in French and American oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla and oak spice. The mouthfeel is jammy and full-bodied. Firm tannins provide structure as the flavors build to a lengthy finish.