Durif is a black grape from France where it no longer appears in the wine grapes statistics. It is instead grown in USA where it is known as Petite Sirah.
Durif is a small grape which means that there is comparably high degree of tannin rich skin in relation to the fruity pulp. Winemakers need to be take this into consideration in order to avoid producing too tannic wines.
Durif also comes with naturally high levels of acidity, also when grown in warm climates.
The grape is susceptible to rot, due to grapes growing in tight bunches. Subsequently the best growth places will be in warm regions.
Durif wines come with aromas and flavours of blueberry, chocolate, and plums. They often can be found to also have over tones of black pepper. Vegetative notes are also common. Durif wines can be good for ageing but commonly not more than five years.
To be fully enjoyed, Durif wines need to be served with food. Nice pairings will be roasted pork, roast beef, or hamburgers. Serve the wine at 17-19°C/63-66°F
Where is it grown?
Durif is mostly grown in USA. With 2.865 ha/7,080 ac it is the fifteenth most planted grape in the country. The acreage means that it has more than doubled in ten years. It is particularly popular among viticulturists in the warmer and drier parts of California.
Outside of USA, Durif is found in warm regions such as Riverina in Australia (417 ha/1,030 ac), Suma Baja California in Mexico (133 ha/329 ac), and in Del Maule in Chile (104 ha/257 ha). Smaller plantings are also reported from South Africa, Brazil, and New Zealand.
As for its birthplace, Durif seems to be more or less gone from French soil. In 2010, it was no longer included in the report over planted varieties.
Durif originates from eastern France and the vineyard of a breeder by the name of Francois Durif. The grape is recognised as a natural crossing between Syrah and Peloursin, both very old varieties.