Elusive Petite Sirah Starts its Journey in Stainless Steel

The Petite Sirah, a variety of red wine made from grapes primarily grown in Australia, California, France and Israel is an elusive beast in the wine world. A tannic wine with a spicy, plummy flavor, a Petite Sirah is robust and extremely difficult to produce well.

John Concannon, of the California Concannons, a family celebrating four generations of vintners, feels that he is up to the task. The challenge of Petite Sirah’s is that the flavor can easily cross the line from powerful to overwhelming. Concannon describes it as “like the St. Bernard that wants to sit in your lap, it’s friendly, but big.”

Still, Concannon has a plan. And that plan calls for stainless steel wine barrels.

Because the initial flavors of the Petite Sirah grapes are so robust, the wine spends three to four months in stainless steel wine barrels much like the kind manufactured here at Skolnik. Concannon trusts stainless steel to help calm and unify the flavors before transferring the young wine to oak barrels, where it will be inundated with even more flavor.

It is important that the wine is ready for the added punch of the oak. One might think of the wine’s time in stainless steel barrels as a sort of ‘self reflection’ period — an opportunity for the wine to come into its own, before throwing any additional personality in the mix.

At Skolnik, we love hearing about all of the ways our stainless steel wine barrels are used throughout the winemaking process. We are proud to create a product used in the creation of such a dynamic and complex wine.