What is Petit Verdot?

Petit Verdot is a late-ripening red grape variety from France that plays a minor but influential role in Bordeaux blends, although it really needs a warmer climate than the Médoc to shine.

What does Petit Verdot taste like?

Petit Verdot produces deep coloured wines with firm tannins, black fruit flavours and a hint of violets. Petit Verdot usually plays only a minor role in France’s own Bordeaux blends but is valued for the peppery spice character it adds to the wine. The variety performs better in warmer climates, where it displays a plusher texture with a more vibrant blackberry and floral character than can be achieved in Bordeaux.

Where is Petit Verdot from?

Petit Verdot has a long history in Bordeaux, especially the Médoc. However, the challenge of achieving full ripeness in this region suggests that the variety’s origins may lie further south.

Where does Petit Verdot grow?

Petit Verdot is slowly recovering from a sharp decline during the 1960s and ‘70s in its native Bordeaux and is also grown successfully in the Languedoc. Today however the variety is far more widely planted outside France, most notably in Spain’s Castilla-La Mancha, Australia, Argentina, Chile, California, and South Africa. Petit Verdot also achieves interesting results on a smaller scale in Portugal’s Alentejo and there are modest plantings in Tuscany, Israel, Washington State, Virginia, New York State and Uruguay.

Famous Petit Verdot regions:

  • Médoc, Bordeaux, France
  • Napa Valley, California, US
  • Mendoza, Argentina
  • Riverland, Australia

Anything else?

Petit Verdot translates from the French as “little green one”, a reference to the challenge of ripening this variety in a relatively cool climate such as Bordeaux.

Our selection of great Petit Verdot

-   Cullen, Margaret River, Australia

-   Marques de Griñon, La Mancha, Spain

-   King Family, Virginia, US

-   Finca Decero, Mendoza, Argentina

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