Shiraz

Great wine, but is it pronounced Syrah or Shiraz?

You say Shiraz, I say Syrah? Same grape or not? OK, you don’t need wine courses to know the difference.

If you thought yes you are right What’s their prize Bob? You mean besides a group of steak knives? OK, no ginzus but what about the remainder of the tale.

In the early 1800′s when Napoleon was gallivanting thru Europe, one of the battles he fought was in Egypt.

We all know to the victor go the rewards so one of his rewards was a local wine called Shiraz.

He was fond of the wine so much that he took vines back to France to be planted but thought the name was too Arabic, so he modified the name to the more proper French sounding “Syrah”

Here’s where the syrah vs shiraz story takes a turn. Remember one of the things your mummy told you as a child: What comes around, goes around. Well, she was right.

The ending to this small ditty is that that a few decades ago, our mates the Australians were studying wine methods in France and thought the syrah grapes had potential in their climate, so they took some vines back home

The vines did very nicely. But a funny thing occurred.

They thought the name “Syrah” sounded too French so they adapted the name back to the Arabic name Shiraz and the rest as they say is history.

So in recent times, although the grape is mostly called syrah in Europe and Shiraz everywhere else, it’s actually the same grape.

The winemaker selects to pronounce it syrah or shiraz based primarily on the how they choose to produce the wine.

The Syrah you get from Europe will often be a little drier.

The Shiraz from California or Australia is bold, spicy, dramatic, great wine for seasoned red meat. The spice is what truly stands out here. To most people the specific flavour is pepper.

So here’s the wine skinny on Shiraz

Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape

Shiraz has a definite pepper flavour

Great wine for foods like steak au poive or in English “pepper steak

This is a distinct wine that people either love or hate. This wine is the spicy hot wings of the wine world! There is such a fanatical following for this wine that when you try it you can never return to other wines!

So enjoy the great debate! syrah vs shiraz!

Mark Adams is a pro winemaker, previous winery owner, writer and frequent speaker on wine. He now teaches wine classes and helps people learn about wine through the US.

Premium Wine Down Under

The Curtis Family Vineyards are established just west of the township of McLaren Vale. Its vineyards have flourished and now its sought-after McLaren Vale wines are available on the Australian and export markets.

The Curtis family imagrated from Italy in 1959, they purchased some land in McLaren vale and grew vines. The business flourished and they have been producing premium McLaren vale wine. the story of how everything old came new again…of how European immigrants came to Australia, struggled against the odds and then applied old world values and experience to produce fine wines.

New faces behind Curtis family vineyards are mark, Tom and Jenna . The name Curtis is thought to derive from Curtius, a noble and wealthy family of the First and Second Centuries AD, the Roman Empire era originating from the Latinium people.

Cervaro is where the Curtis family originated from. Situated 10km south of monte cassino. a town established by the Latinium tribe in Central Italy around the Second Century AD. Cervaro is situated approximately 10klms south of the monastery town of Monte Cassino, the site of some of the bitterest fighting between the Allied and German forces in Italy during World war II.

The Second World War took its toll upon the buildings used as a winery and barrel storage, but more destructive was the introduction of the Phylloxera grape vine louse, badly damaging the vineyards. Some were replanted and are harvested today. It was whilst the later replanting was taking place that the young Claudio Curtis first became involved in vineyards. While his parents tendered the newly growing vines, Claudio tried to help by removing the growing shoots. The Curtis Family have been growning grapes and making wine in McLaren Vale since 1973.

Today the Curtis Family are concentrating on developing complex premium wines for the Australian market. Premium wines that show the Curtis Family passion for great McLaren Vale Wines.

—The Curtis Family

Learn more about McLaren Vale . Stop by Marco polo’s site where you can find out all about wine and what it can do for you.