Petit Verdot red wine variety

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Petit verdot can be used as an alternative to shiraz in the warmer wine regions of Australia. It ripens a week or two later than Shiraz, and hence it is more likely to mature in cooler conditions.

Petit Verdot is the least known and least grown of the Bordeaux red grape varieties. As a late maturing variety it is losing popularity in the relatively cool Bordeaux region. In Australia it is being planted in warmer areas where ripening is not such a problem.

The other four common varieties in the Bordeaux appellation are Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Malbec and Merlot. This better known quartet are now widely planted in other regions of Europe and the New World. Carmenere, Prolongeau, Bequignol are also permitted in some Bordeaux Appellations

In fact, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have escaped from the Bordeaux appellation to become recognised as international varieties. Petit verdot is being less and less frequently in its native Bordeaux and has, until recently, been largely ignored elsewhere.

So why is Petit Verdot the poor cousin?

In a way the answer lies in the vineyard, not the winery. This variety ripens later than the others and in Bordeaux, its traditional home, it may not ripen at all or produce such poor quality fruit as not to be worth the effort. In good years though, late ripening is the very attribute proves that nurturing the ugly duckling can pay off. It produces well coloured concentrated wines with a range of flavours, with violets being a common adjective used to describe its unique character. In Bordeaux it is used as a minor component (usually less than about five percent) of blends.

The potential for Petit verdot in Australia is being talked up by some of its enthusiasts. In the absence of an appellation system it is the grapes, not the bureaucrats who do the talking. Plantings have been increasing rapidly in such areas as the Barossa and McLaren Vale, a well as in most wine regions of inland Australia. As a late ripening grape it will not be successful in cooler regions, but watch out for new wines from South Australia, the irrigated districts and the far northern districts.

The Australian tradition producing one hundred percent varietals is putting the acid test on Petit verdot. It is probably fair to say that the results thus far have been very encouraging, but growers and makers are still at the pioneering stage.

The characters to look for in these exciting new wines are its intense colours, the wonderful fragrant nose, rich flavours and soft tannins.

It may be a long time before we really see the full potential of the variety in Australia. In the meantime, savvy consumers can watch and taste the already impressive progress.

Australian Wineries and Petit Verdot

1847 Barossa Valley | Aldinga Bay McLaren Vale | Alkoomi Frankland River | Anderson Winery Rutherglen | Angoves Winery Riverland | Arimia Margaret River Margaret River | Arrowfield Hunter Valley | Ashton Hills Adelaide Hills | Atze's Corner Wines Barossa Valley | Baarrooka Strathbogie Ranges | Bago Vineyards Hastings River | Ballabourneen Wines Hunter Valley | Ballast Stone Estate Currency Creek | Banrock Station Riverland | Barton Estate Canberra | Beach Road Langhorne Creek | Beechtree Wines McLaren Vale | Beelgara Estate Riverina | Bellarmine Wines Pemberton | Bendigo Wine Estate Bendigo | Blowfly Wines Northern Slopes Zone | Blue Metal Vineyard Southern Highlands | Boireann Granite Belt | Bonneyview Riverland | Bremerton Langhorne Creek | Broomstick Estate Margaret River | Brown Brothers King Valley | Burnbrae Winery Mudgee | Calais Estate Hunter Valley | Capel Vale Geographe | Capercaillie Hunter Valley | Captain Barossa Barossa Valley | Casella Riverina | Celestial Bay Margaret River | Ceravolo Premium Wines Adelaide Plains | Chateau Mildura Murray Darling | Clovely Estate South Burnett | Cosham Perth Hills | Counterpoint Vineyard Pyrenees | Craneford Barossa Valley | Cullen Wines Margaret River | D'Arenberg McLaren Vale | De Beaurepaire Wines Mudgee | De Bortoli Riverina | Deakin Estate Murray Darling | Della Fay Margaret River | Di Fabio Estate McLaren Vale | Disaster Bay Wines South Coast Zone | Doctors Nose Wines New England | DogRidge McLaren Vale | Dowie Doole McLaren Vale | Drakesbrook Wines Peel | Drinkmoor Wines Rutherglen | Duke's Vineyard Porongurup | Eagle Vale Margaret River | Eleven Paddocks Pyrenees | Eloquesta Wines Mudgee | Eumundi Winery Queensland Coastal | Faber Vineyard Swan Valley | Forester Estate Margaret River | Frog Rock Mudgee | Fyffe Field North East Victoria | Gartelmann Hunter Hunter Valley | Geddes Wines McLaren Vale | Gemtree Vineyards McLaren Vale | Giant Steps Yarra Valley | Gin Gin Wines Queensland Coastal | Gipsie Jack Langhorne Creek | Girraween Estate Granite Belt | Gordon Hills Estate Orange | Granite Ridge Wines Granite Belt | Grey Sands Northern Tasmania | Grove Estate Wines Hilltops | Haan Barossa Valley | Hackersley Geographe | Hanging Rock Winery Macedon Ranges | Harkaway Estate Murray Darling | Haywards of Locksley Strathbogie Ranges | Hugh Hamilton McLaren Vale | Illalangi Wines Riverland | Indigo Wine Company Beechworth | Jamieson Estate Mudgee | Jimbour Wines Queensland Zone | John Kosovich Wines Swan Valley | Kahlon Estate Wines Riverland | Kalleske Wines Barossa Valley | Keith Tulloch Wine Hunter Valley | Kevin Sobels Wines Hunter Valley | Kimber Wines McLaren Vale | Kingston Estate Riverland | Kirkham Estate Sydney Basin | Kitty Crawford Estate New England | Koppamura Wines Wrattonbully | Kulkunbulla Hunter Valley | Kurtz Family Vineyards Barossa Valley | Lake Breeze Langhorne Creek | Lankeys Creek Wines Tumbarumba | Lazy River Estate Western Plains | Leconfield Coonawarra | Liebichwein Barossa Valley | Lilliput Wines Rutherglen | Lillypilly Estate Riverina | Little River Wines Swan Valley | Little Wine Company Hunter Valley | Louee Wines Mudgee | Mardia Wines Barossa Valley | Mason Wines Granite Belt | McHenry Hohnen Margaret River | Miles from Nowhere Margaret River | Millbrook Winery Perth Hills | Millers Dixons Creek Estate Yarra Valley | Moama Wines Perricoota | Molly's Cradle Hunter Valley | Mount Appallan Vineyards South Burnett | Mount Burrumboot Estate Heathcote | Mount Camel Ridge Estate Heathcote | Mr Riggs Wine Company McLaren Vale | Mudgee Growers Mudgee | Mudgee Wines Mudgee | Mulcra Estate Wines Murray Darling | Nelwood Wines Riverland | New Glory Goulburn Valley | Noorinbee Selection Vineyards Gippsland | Nursery Ridge Murray Darling | Oak Valley Estate Murray Darling | Olssens of Watervale Clare Valley | Optimiste Mudgee | Patrice Winery North East Victoria | Penmara Hunter Valley | Pennyfield Wines Riverland | Pertaringa McLaren Vale | Petersons Glenesk Estate Mudgee | Pettavel Geelong | Phoenix Estate Clare Valley | Piako Vineyards Murray Darling | Pirramimma McLaren Vale | Pyren Vineyard Pyrenees | Quilty Mudgee | Ravens Croft Wines Granite Belt | Red Cliffs Murray Darling | Red Mud Riverina | Remarkable View Winery Southern Flinders Region | Riverbank Estate Swan Valley | Roberts Estate Murray Darling | Robertson of Clare Clare Valley | Robyn Drayton Hunter Valley | Romantic Vineyard Pyrenees | Rookery Wines Kangaroo Island | Roslyn Estate Southern Tasmania | Salena Estate Riverland | Salisbury Winery Murray Darling | Salomon Estate Currency Creek | Sam Miranda Wines King Valley | Sanguine Estate Heathcote | Seven Mile Vineyard Shoalhaven Coast | Seven Ochres Margaret River | Sevenoaks Wines Hunter Valley | Sigismondi Estate Wines Riverland | Sirromet Queensland Coastal | Sittella Swan Valley | Smallfry Wines Barossa Valley | Smithbrook Pemberton | Spook Hill Wines Riverland | St Mary's Limestone Coast Zone | St Michael's Vineyard Heathcote | Staunton Vale Vineyard Geelong | Stevens Brook Estate Perricoota | Summit Estate Granite Belt | Tall Poppy Murray Darling | Talunga Adelaide Hills | Tamburlaine Hunter Valley | Tassell Park Wines Margaret River | Temple Bruer Langhorne Creek | Tenafeate Creek Wines Adelaide Plains | The Pawn Wine Company Adelaide Hills | Thorn-Clarke Wines Barossa Valley | Three Moon Creek Queensland Zone | Tizzana Winery South Coast Zone | Trahna Rutherglen Wines Rutherglen | Trentham Estate Murray Darling | Tulloch Hunter Valley | Uleybury Wines Adelaide Zone | Victory Point Wines Margaret River | Vintara Rutherglen | Wallington Wines Cowra | Waratah Vineyard Queensland Zone | Warrego Queensland Zone | Waurn Ponds Estate Geelong | Wenzel Family Wines Langhorne Creek | Westlake Vineyards Barossa Valley | Whale Coast Wines Southern Fleurieu | Whistling Kite Riverland | Wildwood Sunbury | Williams Springs Road Kangaroo Island | Wills Domain Vineyard Margaret River | Windowrie Estate Cowra | Wirra Wirra McLaren Vale | Wombat Lodge Margaret River | Woodstock McLaren Vale | Wordsworth Wines Geographe | Yaldara Barossa Valley | Yalumba Wine Company Barossa Valley | Yarran Riverina | Zilzie Wines Murray Darling | Zonte's Footstep Langhorne Creek

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Food pairing and Petit verdot

Petit Verdot wines are generally robust and flavoursome so you might like to pair them with game meats or hearty stews.

Why not try barbecued kangaroo fillet and red cabbage with an Australian Petit Verdot.

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