Although its exact origin is still in dispute, Petite Sirah is probably a mutation of the French Syrah grape. It never really caught on in France, where it is called Durif, but growers in warm wine regions such as California and South America have taken a liking to the grape's dark color and plentiful tannins, which make it a good partner in blended wines (particularly Zindandel). These days, however, Petite Sirah is being replaced in the vineyards by Syrah and other Rhône varietals. The thick-skinned, ruby-colored grape produces a dark, robust, tannic, peppery, and full-flavored wine that can be consumed young (usually blended), but significantly improves with about three to five years of aging in wood.