When the word ‘petite’ or ‘petit’ is part of a grape variety name, it indicates the size of the berries. Size matters as the smaller the grape, the less juice it will yield. In addition, the grape will have more surface area of skin relative to the amount of juice. Red wine made from smaller berried grapes can be more pigmented and more tannic as there is less juice to dilute these characteristics.
The first vines brought to Chile came via Spanish Conquistadors as early as the 1500s. Immigrants from Europe would bring more varieties to Chile, especially from Bordeaux in the 1800s. As of 2020, 70 percent of Chilean wine production is exported.
Bordeaux is the most famous wine-growing region in the world, with a reputation for producing wines that have been the benchmark for wine makers world wide. But did you know that the area used to be a marshy swamp? Vineyards were planted in small areas, but most of the land was unusable marsh or swamp land. Enter the Dutch!
The Petit Verdot (PV) grape’s origins in France date back to the 16th/17th century. The grape is believed to be the child of a grape called Balisca, which originated in Albania, and it was believed to have been brought to France by either the Romans or Greeks.
Many wines that you are familiar with are blends including wines from Bordeaux and the Rhone valley. Wines labelled as Meritage, Cava and Port are blends. Champagne, Rioja and Priorat can be blends, too.