What is the Difference Between Syrah and Shiraz?

What is the Difference Between Syrah and Shiraz?

Do you know what the difference is between Shiraz and Syrah?
While Shiraz and Syrah are genetically the same grape, there is a significant difference between these two styles of wine. Understanding the difference between these two will ensure that you’re able to pick your ideal style of red wine.


Syrah was the ‘original’ name given to this variety when first grown in France. In this cooler climate, the grape tends to offer elegance but intense aromas and flavours. With the cooler conditions, the wines tend to have higher acidity, with smoother tannin, a velvety texture and aromas like cassis, blackberry, violets and subtle pepper.

In many cases, Syrah is referred to as an old-world wine since it was first grown in an old-world region and still produces an old-world style of wine.


When the Syrah grape was brought to new world countries, like Australia and South Africa, the grapes offered a vastly different experience than the wines of France. In these hot and humid regions, the grapes lost their high acidity while developing a significant tannin structure. With these warmer conditions, the grapes also ripened more, raising the alcohol levels and developing ripe plum, blackberry and intense pepper aromas.

These Shiraz wines are therefore considered to be a new-world style of wine.

While there is no legal distinction between these two, more winemakers, especially in South Africa, are labelling their wines according to these styles. For winemakers who follow the softer, old-world style, their labels would say “Syrah.” However, since these grapes are grown in South Africa, the new world country, most winemakers still refer to either style as Shiraz.

In the case of Rosendal Reserve Hilltop Shiraz, this wine leans toward more of an old-world style. This wine resembles typical Rhone-Valley style wines, where the wines are exceptionally fragrant with aromas of violets. It is a complex wine that offers soft, rich flavours and a structured finish. This grape is also used to produce our powerful Black Spice Blend.

To try this exceptional wine, you can order your bottle here.

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