Grape Varieties O-P Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot Wine

Petit Verdot is a red wine grape whose small, thick-skinned berries are valued for their depth of color. Traditionally the variety has played a small role in the classic blends of Bordeaux, but varietal Petit Verdot wines are now appearing in many regions of southern Europe, the Americas and Australia.

Petit Verdot has, unsurprisingly, a less well known but larger-berried cousin, Gros Verdot. The verdot part of the name translates roughly as "green one" and reflects the variety's propensity to under-ripeness; in cool seasons Petit Verdot vines produce bunches speckled with green, unripened berries. (© Proprietary Content, Wine-Searcher)

Petit Verdot grapes

Due to the high levels of anthocyanins in the berry's thick skins, Petit Verdot wines tend to have a dense, inky, violet-black appearance. They also have high tannin levels, thanks to the small berries – specifically their high ratio of skin and seeds to juice.

The 1960s marked the beginning of a new chapter in Petit Verdot's history. In Bordeaux, the variety's traditional home, many Petit Verdot vines were uprooted, to be replaced with more reliable, more fashionable varieties. Wine consumer preferences (particularly in the US) were changing, in favor of plump, fruity Merlot and regal, structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

The variety's waning fashionability was not helped by the fact that it poses further problems in the vineyard beyond difficulties with ripening. Petit Verdot vines have relatively weak shoots and canes, meaning that they require careful handling. Beyond that, the variety is early budding (and therefore susceptible to wet or frosty spring weather) as well as late ripening, making it a liability in cool vintages. Were it not for the variety's thick skins and small, tight berries, which make it particularly resistant to rot and disease, it might never have become popular in Bordeaux at all.

For a while, it looked as though the variety might slip into oblivion. Happily, the 1980s saw something of a renaissance for Petit Verdot, particularly in New World regions such as California and Australia. Producers started experimenting with the variety in new environments, and in the early 21st Century it is now being used in various parts of the US, Australia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. The regions in which it has enjoyed most success have one thing in common: a warm, dry climate. There are strong parallels between the stories of Petit Verdot and Carmenère – another former Bordeaux variety which is enjoying a new lease of life in the New World.

Synonyms include: Verdot, Petit Verdau.

Food matches for Petit Verdot include:

  • Asturian bean stew (fabada)
  • Braised beef
  • Lentil soup with smoked ham hock
Production by region Expand/collapse

Most Popular Petit Verdot Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Region
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Petra Zingari Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Toscana IGT 2,663rd 90 $17
Passopisciaro 'Franchetti' Rosso, Sicily, Italy Sicily 3,700th 93 $114
Pirramimma Petit Verdot, McLaren Vale, Australia McLaren Vale 8,522nd 89 $24
Chateau Belle-Vue 'Petit Verdot By Belle-Vue', Bordeaux, France Bordeaux 13,401st 89 $22
Decades 5 Stagecoach Vineyard Petit Verdot, Napa Valley, USA Napa Valley 15,822nd 91 $134
Marques de Grinon Petit Verdot Dominio de Valdepusa Vino de Pago, Spain Dominio de Valdepusa 17,287th 90 $31
Campo alla Sughera 'Campo alla Sughera' Rosso Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Toscana IGT 21,912th 91 $73
Michael David Winery 'Inkblot' Petit Verdot, Lodi, USA Lodi 28,699th 90 $35
Collazzi 'Ferro' Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Toscana IGT 29,015th 91 $98
William Downie 'Bill Downie' Petit Verdot, South Australia South Australia 30,417th 89 $24
Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot Lazio IGT, Italy Lazio IGT 31,165th 88 $14
Abadia Retuerta P V Petit Verdot Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, Spain Sardon de Duero 33,152nd 91 $147
Finca Decero Remolinos Vineyard Petit Verdot, Agrelo, Argentina Agrelo 33,152nd 91 $33
Rustenberg Petit Verdot Rose, Stellenbosch, South Africa Stellenbosch 36,388th 87 $13
Podere San Cristoforo Petit Verdot Maremma, Tuscany, Italy Maremma Toscana 36,388th 91 $39
Golan Heights Winery Yarden Petit Verdot, Galilee, Israel Galilee 36,929th 90 $32
KWV 'The Mentors' Petit Verdot, Coastal Region, South Africa Coastal Region 36,929th 91 $20
Chapillon Cuvee Harmonie Petit Verdot - Tannat, Aragon, Spain Aragon 38,644th 88 $15
St. Supery Dollarhide Ranch Petit Verdot, Napa Valley, USA Napa Valley 40,549th 89 $54
Mazzei Zisola 'Effe Emme' Sicilia IGT, Sicily, Italy Sicily 40,549th 90 $35
Poggio Bonelli Tramonto d'Oca Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy Toscana IGT 41,221st 90 $35
B. Leighton Olsen's Brothers Vineyard Petit Verdot, Yakima Valley, USA Yakima Valley 41,934th 92 $56
Amizetta Petit Verdot, Napa Valley, USA Napa Valley 44,834th 89 $75
Terre di Talamo 'Percecco' Maremma Toscana, Tuscany, Italy Maremma Toscana 51,379th 89 $35
Vina von Siebenthal 'Toknar' Petit Verdot, Aconcagua Valley, Chile Aconcagua Valley 54,798th 89 $40
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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