Oct. 13th, 2010

Winery Reviews: Papapietro Perry Winery in Healdsburg, California

Wineries in California:The story of Papapietro Perry Winery began in a garage with two friends, Ben Papapietro and Bruce Perry, who were bitten by the winemaking bug. They started making wine, as both of their grandfathers had, for the enjoyment of their families and friends. Like their grandfathers, they were good at it. So good, in fact, that by the 1990s they decided to produce their garagista wines in commercial quantities, and Papapietro Perry Winery was born.

When the fun-loving partners are asked today what style of wine they make, they always respond, “great wines.” They believe in a minimalist approach, sourcing grapes from the finest Pinot Noir and Zinfandel vineyards available. With the best grapes from the best vineyards, they proceed lightly, allowing the nuances of each vintage to be recognized. “We don’t over-extract or over-oak our wines,” Ben explains. “We give them the fermentation and aging environments that allow them to become exceptional—so we can smell and taste what the fruit has to offer us.”

The name Papapietro Perry is frequently found in the most respected wine industry publications. Recent accolades include a 2007 Critics’ Choice Award from Wine Spectator, “in recognition for producing one of the world’s greatest wines,” and the Number One Master Vintner of 2006 Award from The Pinot Report. Yet success has not gone to Ben and Bruce’s heads.

Although the winemaking operation has moved out of Ben’s garage, the Papapietro Perry cellar maintains an unpretentious, welcoming ambiance. And, with their wives working at their sides (Ben’s wife Yolanda manages distributor relations and participates in many events and Bruce’s wife Renae manages marketing and sales), they are able to mix business with pleasure every day.

There’s even a makeshift kitchen in one corner of the cellar where family favorites are prepared for the staff and others who are lucky enough to drop in at the right time. “The winery is an extension of my home and personal hospitality,” Ben says. And those who stop by would certainly agree.

  • ‘07 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Peters Vineyard Black cherry, black stone fruit, plum, clove $49
  • ‘07 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Leras Family Vineyards Bing cherries, plum, smoke, cassis, strawberry, toast $49
  • ‘07 Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Pauline’s Vineyard Allspice, nutmeg, brambly berry, violet, raspberries, spicy black cherry $37
707.433.0422; 877.467.4668
4791 Dry Creek Rd
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Tasting Room Open Daily 11–4:30

Located 4.7 miles west of the intersection of Hwy 101 and Dry Creek Rd in Healdsburg.
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