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The Name Shiraz

The Second Annual International Shiraz Day was yesterday. Herewith, some information on the name shiraz. Until the 1980s, Australians often called syrah “hermitage” and occasionally “shiraz.” But because Hermitage is an official appellation in the northern Rhône Valley of France, use of that term was eventually discontinued.  As for the name shiraz, it is probably a linguistic variation on a string of different names that the French have historically used for syrah. These include schiras, sirac, syrac, serine, sereine, and scyras. But no matter what it is called, DNA typing reveals that syrah is definitely a French grape and not named for the Iranian city of Shiraz (as has sometimes been suggested). Back to the wine itself: We love top Australian shiraz; it’s simply impossible to ignore the wine’s seductive aromas, gracefully soft texture, and luscious berry and violet flavors, plus the wine’s bolts of enlivening spiciness and black pepperiness.

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