Agriculture is as old as humanity and is an integral part of human development. Today, many sciences help its prosperity and vines are no exception. Chemistry, biology, geography, geology, climatology, hydrology and even astronomy and physics have their roles in the cultivation of healthy and fruitful vines with a character.
Get rid of any unpleasant associations that the word "chemistry" generates in the context of food and drink; here comes a serious science. For oenologists, it is extremely important to understand every process that flows between the substances, in order to be able to get an end product with a unique individuality. The reason to turn to chemistry is the incredible Syrah variety and one of specific features.
Syrah or Shiraz (as it is known in Australia and the New World) is red grapes of ancient origin, for which there are different theories. Genetics identifies two old native varieties as parents – result of spontaneous crosses, while mythology leads to ancient Iran and the town of Shiraz (Shiraz), a place with 7,000 years of history and wine-making. Besides France, its distribution extends to Switzerland, Italy, California, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Chile. In Australia it was transferred and planted only in the 19th Century, but nowadays the Syra is the most common red variety there that has become emblematic for local wine growers. Worldwide, Syrah ranks seventh in the area of cultivated lands. The wines produced by this grape vary according to the origin, climate, soil and many other factors, but there is a print that combines them – a peppery and spicy aftertaste – whether in a more pronounced or muffled hue. Here comes chemistry that has helped to clarify where the spicy note comes from in the wines of the Syrah variety. Seductive fragrances are due to the so-called Rotundone, found in the grape skins. Large amounts of it are also found in plants such as black pepper, marjoram, basil, and essential oils produced from various herbs. Rotundone is a complex substance of the Sesquiterpenes group, which is also isolated in varieties such as Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vespolina and Schioppettino, and others characterized by the profile's spiciness.
Climate conditions, farming methods and vinification are all responsible for the varying amount of Rotundone in the final products. Studies have shown that in cooler regions or in colder years, wines are felt to be more spicy. For comparison, you could choose New and Old World wines to find out about these differences. In Australian wines, spicy notes are more noticeable. If you are still entering the world of wine, it would be easier to start with such a wine, in which you will clearly and distinctly feel the presence of Sesquiterpene. Subsequently, by developing your aromatic memory, you will be able to detect spicy hues even in smaller quantities. For those of you who understand wine as an investment as well, let me comfort you – it will keep its charming spicy nuance for decades. Studies have shown that when aged, the amount of Rotundone does not decrease noticeably.
Do not hesitate to make a wine wine tour in the world of Syrah and to appreciate its qualities under different climatic conditions and styles of making. I promise you nice moments – winique! Reach for the New- and Old-World styles with our wine selection.