Syrah, or Shiraz as it’s known in some parts of the world, is a grape variety steeped in as much mystery as it is in history. This noble grape, which has beguiled wine lovers for centuries with its deep flavors and rich heritage, is a cornerstone of the Strandveld Vineyards’ offering. In this blog, we unravel the fascinating story of Syrah, exploring its origins, the reasons behind its two names, and why it’s a varietal that continues to capture the imagination of vintners and connoisseurs alike.
A Grape by Any Other Name
The Syrah grape has a tale that’s as complex as its flavour profile. It’s said to have originated from the Rhône region of France, where it still produces some of the world’s most celebrated wines. Yet, it’s equally at home in the sun-drenched landscapes of Australia, where it goes by the name Shiraz. The difference in nomenclature is more than just regional preference; it signifies style, tradition, and the wine’s character. Syrah typically denotes the Old World style: structured and elegant, while Shiraz points to the New World’s bolder, fruit-forward creations.
The Strandveld Syrah: A South African Interpretation
At Strandveld Vineyards, located near the southernmost tip of Africa, Syrah expresses the unique terroir of the Elim wine region. Our Syrah is crafted with a nod to tradition, yet it vibrantly speaks of its home soil. Here, the cool maritime breezes and diverse soil types impart the grapes with a distinct profile – one that marries Old World sophistication with New World vigor.
Tasting Notes and Pairings
A glass of Strandveld Syrah is a journey through a spectrum of sensory delights. On the nose, it greets you with white pepper, fynbos, and hints of spice. Take a sip, and your palate is enveloped in rich blackberry and savory notes, supported by a structure that is both robust and graceful. It’s a wine that demands contemplation, perfect for pairing with hearty dishes such as roast leg of lamb, barbecued spareribs, or a selection of strong cheeses. It’s also a wine that tells the story of its place – a cool climate syrah that is uniquely South African.
Syrah Through the Ages
The history of Syrah is as rich as its flavour. Legends tell of it being a favorite of Roman emperors and French kings. Others speak of its long journey from the Middle East to the vineyards of Europe. While its true origins may be lost to time, one thing is certain – Syrah has always been a grape associated with quality and prestige.
Why Syrah? Why Strandveld?
Choosing to produce Syrah at Strandveld was a decision born out of respect for the grape’s versatility and its ability to express our vineyard’s unique characteristics. For those intrigued by the history of wine, a bottle of Strandveld Syrah is not just a drink; it’s a chapter in a much larger story, one that continues to unfold with every vintage we produce.
We invite you to explore the rich tapestry that is Syrah. Visit Strandveld Vineyards, take a tour, taste our wines, and immerse yourself in the history and flavor of this remarkable grape. Whether you call it Syrah or Shiraz, one thing remains unchanged – it’s a wine that resonates with history, with flavor, and with the heart of those who enjoy it.
Join us at Strandveld Vineyards for an odyssey through time and taste. Discover our Syrah and its captivating story – a story we’re proud to be a part of. Book your visit, and let’s raise a glass to the history that’s written in every bottle.