A very recent revelation by a leading Australian wine writer pointed out that the plantings of syrah (shiraz) in Australia’s wine making Barossa Valley were less than those of Sicily. Well that sounds a bit dramatic, and it is. The Barossa holds the role of the soul for Aussie shiraz;  it was where Penfolds Grange grew up. And a good majority of the Barossa’s plantings are shiraz anyway. I would expect Sicily’s production to have more clout than a single, small Australian region- after all, when surveying the total area of European vines planted, the Gironde has around 124,000 ha, Sicily is second at around 108,000 ha. All of Australia just reaches 148,000 ha, and we wish it would shrink some more!

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