Considered a versatile grape that works well in blends as well as on its own, the name varies from one region to another. In France and parts of the world influenced by French culture, the grape is known as Syrah. That name is also in common use in the United States. Shiraz is the name most commonly used in Australia, Canada, South Africa, and New Zealand. The origins of the black-skinned grape were a subject of debate for a number of years. DNA typing under the auspices of the University of California-Davis in 1998 to determine that the Syrah came about as a product of combining the Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche grapes. The date when this blending took place is not readily known, although there is some evidence that it could date to the first century AD. The full-bodied wine produced from these grapes brings to mind hints of sweet blueberries as well as that of black olives. While considered one of the best grapes for wine in the world, it has never achieved the popularity of some other varieties.
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