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Chris Johnston
June 16, 2014 | Wine | Chris Johnston

Getting to Know Petit Verdot

It seems very few people have had the good fortune of tasting and appreciating a Petit Verdot. That’s because few winemakers attempt making it – the grapes produce a wine that is typically coarse, tannic and hard to drink. However, mine has nice bright acids, smooth tannins and is really delicious.

The name Petit Verdot means “small green” and is actually the reason this grape is difficult to grow in its home region of Bordeaux. Unless weather conditions are perfect during flowering, the berries won’t develop, and they remain small. It also tends to ripen later than other Bordeaux varietals, which means that in some years the entire crop is lost. As a result, many French growers uprooted their Petit Verdot plants in the 1960’s in favor of the easier-to-grow Cabernet and Merlot. However, the 1980’s saw a resurgence of Petit Verdot when viticulturists in the U.S., Australia and Argentina discovered that the grape grows really well in the right climate.

I can’t wait for you to try my Petit Verdot.  It just may become one of your favorites!


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