Petite Sirah [pe-teet-si-rah] (also known as Durif) is a natural crossing of Syrah and Peloursin, discovered by François Durif in the south of France in 1880. Its intense colour and good tannin structure make it an excellent wine for ageing and for blending. Today the variety is mostly grown in California and Australia. Petite Sirah was introduced to South Africa by Fairview owner, Charles Back after he tasted it abroad. It thrives in our warm climate – both in Paarl and in the Swartland and is picked end February or beginning of March, vintage dependant.
The grapes were handpicked, and fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. The must underwent pump overs up to three times a day at the beginning of fermentation to assure good concentration. With the intense colour and tannin of this variety, we tend to press before the end of fermentation to allow for a good balance without over extraction. The wine was matured for 24 months in specifically toasted French and American oak barrels, of which 40% were new French oak barrels. The barrel ageing allows the tannins to polymerize and soften, before being racked, lightly filtered and finally bottled.