On August 6, 2002, a Petite Sirah symposium was sponsored and held at Foppiano Vineyards, Healdsburg, California. Major industry Petite Sirah growers, producers, and winemakers were present. This group also included Dr. Carole Meredith, the University of California at Davis geneticist, who has successfully proven that Petite Sirah is a synonym for Durif, the varietal attributed to Dr. Francois Durif. In the late 1800s, Dr. Durif crossed Syrah and Peloursin in the Rhone region of France, and called it Petite Syrah.

At the symposium, all aspects of Petite Sirah were addressed, from soil, to vineyards, winemaking, and marketing. Following the event, an evaluation was distributed, then collected. A resounding 90 percent of respondents were of a single mind: form a Petite Sirah group whose sole function and focus is to support a marketing/public relations effort for Petite Sirah. Foppiano Vineyards,’ Louis Foppiano discussed with co-organizers, Christine Wells and Jo Diaz, that he would be the first person to support the effort, becoming the first charter member. Kent Rosenblum (Rosenblum Cellars) and John Monnich (Silkwood Wines) followed shortly thereafter. The group has grown to 100 members.

Jo Diaz (Diaz Communications) is executive director, and the administrative office is located at 23126 Vineyard Road, Geyserville, CA 95441.

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