Shiraz's origins are in the vineyards of northern Rhône Valley where it is known as Syrah. In 1832 James Busby, a Scottish viticulturist, brought with him varieties of Syrah to Australia. Now commonly grown in France, Australia and Spain, Shiraz variety differs in taste region to region. Generally, though, the grapes produce medium to full-bodied wines with medium to high levels of tannins, as well as notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. A perfect wine for a barbeque, hearty stews, or strong cheeses.
The Rhône wine region is in Southern France. It is France’s third largest wine producing region. The area has two sub regions; Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône. Despite the close proximity, they have very different soils, geography, climate and grape varieties. The south is known for leathery and fruity red blends. Primary varietals here include GSM Blend, Rosé, Marsanne Blend, Muscat Blanc. The north, meanwhile, produces savoury, herbaceous Syrah, as well as Marsanne and Viognier.