The 2017 Petite Sirah is loaded with aromas of brambleberry, cedar, tobacco, smoky
toasted oak, vanilla bean and violets. A bold, broad palate bursts with intense flavors
of blueberry, boysenberry, wild blackberry and coffee. Assertive tannins and balanced
acidity add lift to the experience, allowing beautiful black pepper notes to linger on a
rich, chewy finish.
Petite Sirah thrives amid the hot summer afternoons of northern Paso Robles. Here,
Ancient Peaks Winery co-owner Karl Wittstrom planted 13 acres of Petite Sirah to
capture this natural synergy between climate and grape variety. Temperature swings of
50 degrees within a 24-hour period are not uncommon at Wittstrom Vineyard during
the summer months, demonstrating the daily interplay of inland warmth and incoming
marine air. Wittstrom Vineyard is planted with progressive high-density vine spacing,
resulting in low-yielding vines that produce fruit with dense, rich flavors. The vineyard
rows run west to east to capture the prevailing coastal breezes, further enabling the
grapes to achieve balanced ripeness. The fruit from this wine comes specifically from
an elevated knoll where yields are the lowest, further intensifying the fruit character.
Petite Sirah is the most naturally hedonistic of our wines, but we aim to capture it with
balance and structure. After the fruit was hand harvested and destemmed, the must was
pumped over three times daily during fermentation to soften the wine while fostering
even extraction. After fermentation, the lots were aged for 24 months in French and
American oak barrels (60% new). The barrels were made predominantly with mediumplus
toasting to complement the Petite Sirah’s intense character with a darker, smokier
oak influence. A small lot of Petit Verdot from Margarita Vineyard was incorporated
into the final blend for enhanced flavor complexity and textural elegance.