Petit Verdot is a red wine grape whose small, thick-skinned berries are valued for their depth of colour. 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.
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.