Syrah versus Shiraz: wat is het verschil
Although Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape variety, the names refer to different wine styles and production areas.

Syrah is the French name for the grape variety and is grown mainly in the Rhône Valley, but also in other French regions such as Languedoc and Provence. French Syrah wines are known for their spicy notes, firm tannins and fruity aromas of blackcurrant and blackberry. They often also have an earthy touch and can be stored for a long time.

Shiraz, on the other hand, is the Australian name for the same grape. Australian Shiraz wines tend to be fuller bodied than their French counterparts, with more ripe fruit and notes of chocolate and vanilla. Australia has established itself as one of the world's largest producers of Shiraz, particularly from regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.

The differences between wines made from Syrah and Shiraz are due to climate, soil, and wine production techniques, among other factors. French Syrah wines are often produced in cooler climates, which gives the grapes a longer growing period and slower ripening. This ensures a more balanced acidity and a higher concentration of aromatic substances.

Australian Shiraz wines, on the other hand, are often produced in warmer climates and are sometimes blended with other grape varieties, such as Grenache and Mourvèdre, to add more complexity and smoothness to the wine. The emphasis is often on the fruity and spicy character of the wine, with less emphasis on the earthy notes typical of French Syrah wines.

Before you think you've made your final choice between the two, remember that the names Syrah and Shiraz are sometimes used interchangeably and that there are other factors that determine the style of the wine, such as the specific region and winery where the wine is produced. It's always worth experimenting and trying different bottles to see which style of Syrah/Shiraz you prefer.

For the astute among us: it is unknown whether the city of Shiraz in Iran has anything to do with the grape variety. There are several theories about how the grape got its name. A common theory is that the grape got its name from the city of Shiraz, from where it was exported to Europe. Other theories suggest that the name comes from the ancient city of Syrah in the Middle East, or from the word "surah" meaning "grape" in Persian. But no one can say for sure!