It’s a trick question. They’re the same thing.

In its native France and almost every other part of the world, this dark-skinned wine grape is known as syrah. For reasons that aren’t quite clear, Australians, South Africans and sometimes Americans use the name shiraz.

It’s the most popular and widely planted wine grape in this country, and only France grows more than us. Australia bottles some excellent shiraz, but our warmer regions (McClaren Vale and the Barossa, mostly) have also gained notoriety for churning out brutish, unsubtle, overly alcoholic interpretations. The phrase “Australian shiraz” often has negative connotations for international buyers.

This is why, in recent years, we’ve seen a new guard of producers making leaner, less alcoholic, more-nuanced wine and selling it as syrah. Look out for bottles from Jamsheed, Commune of Buttons, Gentle Folk, Si Vintners, Luke Lambert, Mac Forbes and Patrick Sullivan.

This story originally appeared in Melbourne print issue 26 and Sydney print issue 18.