Industry Gathers to Honor Jim Concannon on the 50th Anniversary of America's First Petite Sirah

Jul 26, 2011, 16:49 ET from Concannon Vineyard

LIVERMORE, Calif., July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Over a hundred industry leaders, friends and family gathered together to raise a glass to 50 years of Petite Sirah and honor Jim Concannon, the man responsible for bottling the country’s first Petite Sirah. Known as the ‘Father of America’s First Petite Sirah’, the event was especially momentous as it also served as a birthday celebration for Mr. Concannon, who turned 80 years old last night.

Unveiled at the celebration was the release of a new Petite Sirah-based blend, Crimson & Clover. Crafted by son John Concannon, 4th generation vintner, as a tribute to his father, the blend consists of 50% Petite Sirah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah and 10% Zinfandel from the Livermore Valley.

“I wanted to do something special for my dad, so it only seemed fitting to make a wine that honors his contribution to this varietal. Crimson & Clover reflects pride in our Irish heritage," John said.  "The clover is the traditional Irish symbol for prosperity and crimson reflects the wine's rich, deep color.  Most importantly, I made this wine to be a bold reflection of my dad and his contributions to the California wine industry."

Master of Ceremonies for the tribute event was Dan Berger, wine authority.  Other leading Petite Sirah producers in attendance were Kent Rosenblum, Rosenblum Cellars; David Gates, winemaker, Ridge Vineyards; Steve Heringer, Heringer Vineyards, and Clark Smith, Diamond Ridge, among others.  Mark Oldman, international wine author, Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine encouraged people to "Taste wines beyond the usual suspects. Petite Sirah is hearty, bold and typified by an inky black color, dark and intense as a dominatrix’s boot.”

“It was Jim Concannon who was the first to embrace Petite Sirah as a variety, taking it from the obscurity of its hearty Burgundy days, and recognizing it as more than a simple blending grape. It was he who first labeled Petite Sirah as such in 1964 with a 1961 vintage pleasing his southern California retailer friend Denny Caldwell… and the rest is history,” stated Jo Diaz, executive director, PS I Love You. The advocacy group hosted its 9th annual Petite Sirah Symposium for trade and media at Concannon Vineyard on July 26. For more information,

Other Petite Sirah celebrations are continuing throughout the year.  Concannon Vineyard will host a community celebration honoring 50 years as America’s First Petite Sirah on August 13-14. Additional information at . Other public events include Petite on the Rails, honoring the terroir of Livermore Valley and its Petite Sirah producers including Concannon Vineyard at a special tasting and benefit for Niles Canyon Railroad on July 30.  For more information,

To speak with John Concannon or request a media sample for review, please contact Patricia Schneider 415-717-7595 cell or

About Concannon Vineyard

With four generations of family involvement, Concannon 's pioneering contributions to California winemaking and viticulture have built a landmark winery with an enduring commitment to creating outstanding, award-winning wines proudly served on American tables for over 128 years.  Founder of America's first Petite Sirah, Concannon Vineyard also introduced Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon clones 7, 8 and 11, which provided the backbone of Napa Valley's Cabernet resurgence in the 1970s and 1980s.  The historic winery earned organic certification in 2010 and preserves an agricultural way of life by protecting vineyards from urban development through its new Conservancy tier of critically acclaimed wines.  For additional information please visit:

SOURCE Concannon Vineyard