Syrah reminds me of the kind of guy who wears cowboy boots with a tuxedo. Rustic, mandy, and yet elegant – that’s Syrah. In fact, at the turn of the twentieth century, the British scholar and wine writer George Saintsbury described the famous Rhone wine Heritage (made exclusively from Syrah) as the “manliest wine” he’d ever drunk.
Why syrah’s name was changed to shiraz in South Africa and Australia isn’t quite clear, although a popular if highly unlikely legend has it that syrah may have originated near the Persian city of Shiraz and later traveled to France by way of Greece. Still, this does not explain why a grape known as syrah in France would be given a Persian name once it was brought to South Africa and Australia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Syrah is grown and made principally in : Australia; California; France, in the Rhone and Languedoc- Roussillon; and South Africa (where, it is know as shiraz).