Syrah originally hails from the Northern Rhone Valley in southeastern France. First made famous by the wines from Hermitage and well-established there by the 13th century, classic examples of this noble grape are also grown in Côte-Rôtie. Shiraz, as the Aussies call it, first arrived in Australia at the end of the 18th century. Penfolds Grange, a predominately Shiraz blend, is considered one of Australia’s most collectible wines.
Columbia Valley Syrah, however, is something of a late-comer. The first Washington bottling of Syrah was made in 1988, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the grape became widely planted. Winemakers and critics seem to agree that Syrah has found a place to its liking at Stillwater Creek. Planted on a steep, south-facing slope on soils strewn with fractured basalt, the vineyard grows Syrah that yields deep, concentrated wine from clones 1, 99, 174 and Joseph Phelps, making Stillwater Creek home to one of the most diverse Syrah selections in the state.