Durif Day Date in the current year: June 10, 2024

Durif Day Durif Day is celebrated by wine lovers around the world on June 10 every year. It was created by Australian winemakers to raise awareness of a lesser-known grape variety that is sometimes referred to as the “best unknown wine in Australia”.

Durif, also known as Petite Sirah (“small Syrah”), is a red wipe grape variety native to southern France. It was created in the 1860s by French botanist François Durif who grew Syrah and Peloursin grapes at his home in Tullins. At some point, Syrah pollen pollinated Peloursin flowers, and Durif eventually discovered that his nursery had a new grape variety. It was identified and named by ampelographer Victor Pulliat in 1868.

Californian growers began planting Durif in the 1880s, and pioneering Australian viticulturist Francois de Castella first planted Durif in Australia in 1908. Today, Australia and California are the world’s largest producers of Durif; the majority of Durif wines produced in California are labeled as Petit Sirah. The grape is also grown in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Israel, and Mexico. Ironically, Durif came from Europe, but there is hardly any Durif left on its native continent.

Durif produces dark and intense red wines with very high tannins, high alcohol, and relatively high acidity. Durif wines have a great aging potential that can exceed 20 years in the bottle. Due to its high tannin levels, Durif can be decanted for 2 to 4 hours.

The dominant flavors of Durif varietals are plum, blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, black tea, and black pepper. Durif is somewhat similar to Shiraz, which is not surprising since Syrah/Shiraz is one of its parents, and the two grape varieties blend well together.

Durif pairs well with rich and fatty foods that are able to match its full body and tannic profile. You can serve this wine with red meats (beef, lamb, game), meat pies and casseroles, stews, full-flavored, mature cheeses such as goat cheese, aged Gouda and blue cheeses (Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton, etc.), and some vegetable dishes (sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, grilled eggplants, stuffed peppers). Durif also pairs well with spicy dishes, but you should avoid anything too spicy or too salty.

Durif Day was created by the Riverina Winemakers Association, a professional association that unites winemakers of the Riverina wine region in New South Wales, which produces more than half of the grapes in New South Wales and a quarter of Australian wine. Durif is the sixth largest grape variety grown in Australia, and three-quarters of it are grown in the Riverina, where many wineries produce a regional style of Durif. They established Durif Day to celebrate and promote this amazing wine.

The best way to celebrate Durif Day is, of course, to buy a bottle of Durif and enjoy a glass or two or gift it to someone you love. If you happen to live in (or be able to) travel to a country that produces Durif, take a trip to a vineyard to see how the wine is made and attend a wine tasting. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #DurifDay.

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Durif Day, wine days, wine holidays, Durif, Australian wines