[Copyright: mcininch / 123RF Stock Photo ~ Purchased image.]
Credit where credit is due…
Syrah (father) + Peloursin (mother) = Petite Sirah
I did NOT write the following, in this rendition. This was written by Stephanie Douglas of Aratas Wine, who – like me – just “gets it.” History, lineage, heritage, passion… We’re on it!
A letter from a Petite son to his noble Father…Aratas Veneration
“I had to go and see the new world Father. I had to stake my claim. Born of noble birth in 1880, I knew my Petite feet couldn’t possibly follow as you ruled the land of Rhone. The Missions of California called for me and I searched out a new home. Oh the sunshine, Father Syrah! I would rule my own domain and set out to win the west. My how I loved the excitement of a future in a new state rich with fertile soil in those golden hills.
Parents long for their child’s return and I felt the pressure. That mercenary phylloxera soon crossed the wide open sea to find me and bring me to my knees. That horrible louse wrecked the land the world over but my vines thrived when others could no longer bare fruit. Raised from Hermitage, you trained me well you’ll see, for I did not succumb. I am a survivor. Through tenacious perseverance I would lead our new country into the 20th century. Ripe for the picking, Napa Valley, the world would soon seek.
Your Petite prince danced across the hills spreading abundance far and wide. Sadly our progressive era came to a halt in 1920 when Sheriff Prohibition came to town. He tested my resolve. I was almost crushed but for the sake of the sacrament, I lived on. Still a faithful son to my Coté Rotie, I said to Mother Peloursin, I’ll make you proud. Those near and far longed for the toast from which would bring health, happiness and unity. A thick skinned soul I am, and I knew it was my duty to set off on an American journey to save our grape nation. I laid rest in hot trains, back rooms and bathtubs but by golly, our citizens would savor each secret sip until one day in 1933, our country’s worst experiment finally came to an end. A collective cheer was heard cross the land and Petite won the crown!
Your noble son was given the key to the kingdom and by 1960 everyone seemed to share my vision. The American dream was alive and well for this wee pilgrim. Upon the 1970’s my true identity was finally discovered. Proud of my noble heritage I am but I wanted to be loved for the hard working American I had become. I’m a a bit elusive today, older and wiser so reserve myself for the very best of bottles. So, I thank you Father Syrah for your discipline, for granting me intrinsic ability to finely weather the years and for giving me great stock from which to grow. I venerate you.”
Your noble son, Petite Sirah, an American Heritage varietal