Petit Verdot, ‘little green’ in French, first gained fame as a blending grape for making Bordeaux wine. However, because Petit Verdot often has difficulties reaching full phenolic ripeness, not much of it is planted or used in Bordeaux today. Yet, that was not always the case. In fact, Petit Verdot, which takes its name from the size of its berries, small, was one of the main grapes for many Bordeaux chateaux in the Medoc during the 1700’s and after the devastating attack of phylloxera in the late 1800’s quite a bit of Petit Verdot in The Left Bank was removed. What little Petit Verdot remained was once again removed from the vineyards in Bordeaux following the frost of 1956.
However, Petit Verdot has found its new home in Tuscany, precisely in Maremma, initially as a blending grape and slowly, thanks to a few winemakers has found its own space. Making 100% Petit Verdot wines is not easy to the characteristics of the grape resulting in wine with marked tannins, but when properly done, aged in wood to tame the tannins and thanks to their high acidity, can produce outstanding wines.