Saturday, September 26, 2015

Strangebird on the loose - Petit Verdot

Juliane from Granite Ridge Wines is here this week to tell us a little bit about Petit Verdot.
'Petit Verdot means 'the little green one' - it is a late ripening variety with intense colour and high tannins.  Its home is Bordeaux, France where it is used as a small component in the Bordeaux blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.

We first became interested in planting the variety after tasting a straight Petit Verdot from Maclaren Vale in the late 1990s.  We planted ours in 1999 and have found it suits our climate and is relatively trouble free to grow.  It grows in a loose bunch and has small berries with thick skins, which means that it is fairly disease resistant and can cope with our summer rains.  Our vines crop vigorously and we thin the bunches to keep the yield down.
 We make a 100% Petit Verdot and also use it in our red blends. It produces a beautiful dense, dark wine with aromas of violets, spice and leather and some wonderful flavours of dark berries, plums and cherries.  Our current release is the 2009 Petit Verdot.'
The Stanthorpe State High School also introduced Petit Verdot to its vineyard some years ago and this fruit was the basis of the Banca Ridge 2013 Petit Verdot that won the first Gold medal received by QCWT and the SSHS.