Juicy Tale,Petite Sirah,PS I Love You,Viticulture,Wine,Wine Making,Winemaker,Winery

Everybody’s got a Petite Sirah, and why not?

When I began keeping records on Petite Sirah, there were slightly over 60 growers and producers of Petite Sirah in California – combined. That was in 2002. Today, only eight years later, there are now 126 growers + 723 producers. That’s 849 companies, 90 percent of them in California with a Petite Sirah.

I see this as an eventual Mount Vesuvius, which will one day completely explode and blow the top off the secret.

Here’s what I’ve come to learn, living behind the scenes, about this intriguing cultivar.

  1. About 90 percent of all the producers on this list that I’ve documented for the last eight years make 500 cases of PS or less per vintage.
  2. Winemakers for larger companies are expected to make the winery’s benchmark wines, and are then allowed to have a Petite (e.g., 12 barrels in a corner, separate from all other wines).
  3. The Petite is currently being sold in the wineries’ tasting rooms and through their wine clubs.
  4. No outside marketing is needed as a result of complete in-house sales and promotion.
  5. Some wine companies are quietly growing their own production by a barrel or two with each vintage, so it’s growing in a micro manageable way.
  6. Winemakers love to make this wine, to satisfy their own passions… It’s a winemaker’s wine.
  7. More small production winemakers are hanging their hat on Petite Sirah, making this their benchmark wine.
  8. These small producers, who are joining PSILY, are as passionate about their own Petites as Robert Mondavi was, when he first started his winery in the 1970s.
  9. Robert Mondavi pulled out Petite in the 1970s to replant with Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, his heirs are putting PS on their wine labels.

Here’s a short list of PSILY’s smallest producers. Their wines are totally unctuous for anyone wanting to walk on the wild side.

Our larger production wineries also have amazing Petites. Since this story is mainly about small producers,  today’s list will focus on PSILY’s smaller members…

Alger Vineyards & Winery Aver Family Vineyards
Ballentine Vineyards Charter Oak Winery
Cleavage Creek Cellars Edwards Vineyard & Cellars
Fortress Vineyards Grizzly Republic Wines
Jazz cellars Jeffrey Miller Vineyards
Justice Grace Vineyards Kent Rasmussen Winery
Line Shack Winery Maley Brothers Vineyards
Morse Vineyards Oakstone Winery
Occasio Winery Ranchita Canyon Vineyard
Ripken Vineyards & Winery Spangler Vineyards
Szabo Vineyards Tres Sabores Winery
True Vine Vineyards Vezér Family Vineyard

Finalizing the above list:

If I’ve left anyone out, please forgive me. I’ve crossed checked for a few days, but anything is still possible, given all the facts and figures to maintain… In my infinite spare time…

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3 Responses to “Everybody’s got a Petite Sirah, and why not?”

  1. from the Tenbrink Petite Sirah vineyards – in addition to the one you have already included (Justice Grace/Eric Cohen) are the following labels: Scholium Project/Abe Schoener and Forlorn Hope/Matthew Rorick and soon to be bottled; Tahlula/Mike Drash and TENBRINK/Tenbrink

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks for commenting, Linda.

  3. Loweeel says:

    Linda, I love the Scholium Tenbrink Petite Sirahs (Babylon, Gardens, Briccolo). Thanks for the list of others to try! You guys grow FANTASTIC fruit.

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