PS Symposium

The 10th Annual Concannon Petite Sirah Symposium


128 Years of Crafting America’s Rogue Variety

And PS I Love You’s 10th Anniversary.

The symposium will take place July 31, 2012, at Concannon Vineyard in Livermore Valley. Many of California’s recognized producers, as well as newcomers crafting this cultivar, will be analyzing, discussing, and tasting this eclectic wine grape.

The Petite Sirah Symposium in 2002 was the first varietal symposium of its kind in California, to gather the best and the brightest in the industry, with educational forums devoted to a single variety. With Petite Sirah being one of America’s rare heritage wine grapes to call its own (Petite Sirah and Zinfandel), the Petite Symposium remains the only educational forum devoted solely to the exploration of Petite. With enlightening sessions moderated by key industry leaders, the Symposium continues to be another year of successful advancement for Petite Sirah.

Details will be forthcoming. For now, save the date of July 31, 2012!

As PS I Love You Turns 10 Years Old

Here’s a retrospect of fun facts learned over a 10 year period.

  • In the 1960s, Napa Valley was planted to Petite Sirah by 60 percent. Today, there are a scant few vineyards left with Petite in them, and they’re as prized as any renowned Napa Valley Cabernet, fetching the same price per ton.
  • Petite Sirah is a winemaker’s wine, and there are many who will attest to that fact.
  • Most wineries producing a Pet keep it as their “Pet Project,” making 400 cases a year or less, and selling every bottle directly to their consumers. These Petites require no marketing or critical review to their loyal fans. The fans are already “hooked.”
  • Regional differences are fascinating. It cannot be seamlessly benchmarked as a variety, either microscopically or in its macroscopic, in-the-bottle form. Biochemist Dr. Sondra Barrett has spent copious hours trying to determine Petite’s main characteristics. She uses her polarizing light microscope to photograph the essence of a drop of wine, giving us a Rorschach image of what can only seen by getting this deeply into the heart and soul of one’s wine. Petite has a preclusive quality about it, and each slide has its own qualities. However, producers whose wines come from different vineyards, still produce similar qualities. This begs the question, is it the winemaker who truly determines the heart and soul of each Petite Sirah produced, versus terroir?
  • In 2002, just ten years ago, there were only 62 growers and producers of Petite Sirah combined. Today, there are 1,000+.