Pronunciation: [peh-TEET sih-RAH]
Grown mainly in California, this red wine grape produces a big, robust and peppery wine. Although not as popular as California's cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir or zinfandelIn California, the Petite Sirah grape was long thought to be syrah, a theory now discounted by enologists (see enology). During the 1990s, DNA analysis proved there is a relationship between the two grapes: Most of California's Petite Sirah is the same as Durif, a lesser-known variety in the rhone and one of Durif's parents, as shown by DNA evidence. This variety is also spelled Petit Syrah and Petit Sirah.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.