More than half the world's total Syrah acreage is planted in France, but it is also a successful grape in Australia (called Shiraz or Hermitage), South Africa and California.
Syrah vines are relatively productive, yet not too vigorous. Like Merlot, it is sensitive to coulure, and although Syrah buds fairly late, it is a mid-season ripener. Syrah requires heat to get fully ripe, but can lose varietal character when even slightly overripe. The berry is thick-skinned and dark, almost black.
Syrah forms intense wines, with deep violet, nearly black color, chewy texture and richness, and often alcoholic strength, with aromas that tend to be more spicy than fruity.