Syrah probably originated in the Rhône but the origins are somewhat murky. Recent theory suggests that Syrah is a direct descendant of the vine family Vitis allobrogica.
Syrah produces extremely dark, tannic wines that age well and have notes of chocolate and black pepper. Syrah has long been used as a blending partner for less structured fruit but makes a great varietal. Syrah is grown and vinified successfully throughout France, Italy, South Africa, Australia, California, and most recently in Eastern Washington State. Syrah needs to be harvested when just ripe as it tends to lose aroma and acidity rapidly if left on the vine too long.