Syrah and Shiraz are the Same Grape

November 4, 2011 at 2:00 am 4 comments

By Chad Upton | Editor

There are thousands of grape varieties out there. You’ll find a couple of them in the grocery store and another fraction of them in wine making.

Casual wine drinkers might be able to name a couple dozen grape varieties used for wine, but two of the most common are actually the same grape: Syrah and Shiraz.

Why have two names for the same thing?

Based on current naming conventions, it appears to have happened when the grape was introduced to Australia in 1832, where it is known as Shiraz. Before then, it was mostly found in the Rhône valley of Southern France, where it is known as Syrah. It is also known as Shiraz in South Africa

Outside of these regions, the wines made from these grapes are marketed as either Shiraz or Syrah. The choice is sometimes arbitrary, but often has to do with the flavor of the wine. A smokey, tannic wine from these grapes could be called a Syrah since it is similar in character to those made in Rhône valley. Conversely, a sweet, fruity, peppered version might be labelled a Shiraz because it’s more like an Australian classic.

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Photo: Adrian Midgley (cc)

Sources: wikipedia (Syrah), wine-searcher

Entry filed under: Food and Drink. Tags: , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. n.darling  |  November 4, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Want to see a great wine movie: “Bottle Shock”
    Drink a Fabulous wine with no ill-side effects:
    Larch Hills-award winning- wine, Okanagan, B.C.

  • 2. Shannon  |  November 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I didnt know that! Such a fun fact, and important to remember as an avid wine drinker. Thanks!

  • 3. K Syrah Shiraz « Wineguys Radio and TV  |  January 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    […] Syrah and Shiraz are the Same Grape ( […]

  • 4. bar billiards new york  |  January 21, 2012 at 11:02 am

    If there are hanging chad/election issues in the upcoming Presidential election….and these issues are not resolved before the end of Bush’s term. Who would be President in the interim?

    -I assume Bush has to leave office, as the law prevents him from serving more than eight years?

    -Would Cheney be interim president because he is next in command? However, technically, he is the vice president to Bush and would only step in if the President is incapable…and his President would no longer be in office.

    -Or, would the third in line, (Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi) be the interim president?

    Any ideas?


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