Petit Verdot is a black grape from France that seems to be in a resurrection process with new plantings reported from many countries.
Petit Verdot is a variety that is known for its colour, giving dark blue, almost black wines. This also makes it a nice blending partner, bringing colour to other, less colourful grapes.
Due to small berries and thick skin, it is also known for giving tannin rich wines. Flavours are of dark skinned fruit such as plums, blackberries and dark cherries.
There are many nice varietal Petit Verdot wines to be found nowadays. Look for wines from Spain (Castilla La Manca), Australia (Riverland), USA (Napa Valley), Italy (Sicily), and South Africa (Stellenbosch), to mention some. In France, Petit Verdot is mainly used for blending in Bordeaux.
Petit Verdot wines are typically nicely matched with meat dishes such as grilled pork or beef. The wine is best served at 15-18°C/59-64°F.
Where is it grown?
Petit Verdot might not be one of the large grapes – it covers a modest 7.237 ha/17,884 ac world-wide. Never the less it is reported to be be planted in no less than sixteen countries, out of which nine did not report it ten years earlier. Furthermore, the variety’s plantings have been more than tripled between 2000 and 2010.
- Spain 1.661 ha/4,104 ac, MPG 41
- Australia 1.223 ha/3,023 ac (an increase of 70%), MPG 16
- France 896 ha/2,215 ac (an increase of 124%), MPG 60
- USA 853 ha/2,107 ac (a tenfold increase), MPG 27
- Italy 659 ha/1,628 ac (a tenfold increase), MPG 99
- South Africa 648 ha/1,602 ac (a tenfold increase), MPG 17
- Chile 576 ha/1,424 ac (a fivefold increase), MPG 16
The nine countries with new plantings, e.g. from the first decade of the twenty-first century, are (in order of size of acreage): Argentina, Portugal, Uruguay, Canada, Turkey, Brazil, New Zealand, Hungary, and Myanmar.
Petit Verdot is thought to have originated in France’s South-West region, in one of the departments Gironde or Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Its documentation as a variety goes some three-hundred years back.