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Petit Verdot

The Petit Verdot grape variety is one of the six approved grapes for making red wines in the Bordeaux region of France. It is usually used as you would use a spice in cooking because a little bit goes a long way. Petit Verdot will often be blended as 1% to 3% of the total wine in order to take advantage of some of its most dominant characteristics. Petit Verdot has very deep purple color and a strong tannin structure. It is usually used to impart these features to the wine into which it is blended. Because Petit Verdot tends to ripen late in the season and is often lost to rains during harvest, it is following another variety, Carmenere, into near extinction in the Bordeaux region. 

Plantings of Petit Verdot are on the rise in California because the weather there allows for consistent ripening of the grapes. Many of the more prestigious and quality oriented producers in California are including small amounts in thier blends. There are a few California wineries that have gone against the historical trend and bottled wines with Petit Verdot as the primary grape variety.