Definition - What does Francois Durif mean?
Francois Durif was a French botanist in the 1860s who kept a nursery at his home, where he kept several grape varieties. Two varietals he had were Peloursin and Syrah. It is believed that at some point the two cross pollinated or that Durif himself cross pollinated them and created a new varietal. This is the grape that today is known as Petite Syrah or Durif.
WineFrog explains Francois Durif
Francois Durif is mainly known as the French botanist who accidentally or purposefully created the grape varietal Petite Sirah (aka Petite Syrah). No one is really sure how the cross happened.
The grape was identified by ampelographer Victor Pulliat in 1868. Because the grape had/has a natural resistance to downy mildew, its cultivation was encouraged, especially in wine regions with high humidity or unfavorable precipitation. The Durif grape is not usually used to make a single varietal wine, but mainly cultivated as a blending grape in order to add dark fruit characteristics along with tannin structure to other wines.