Fun-Loving Friends Share Their Wine The Papapietro Perry Winery began in a garage and still maintains the homestyle hospitality while producing great wines. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photos courtesy of Papapietro Perry Winery
Bruce and Renae Perry (left), and Ben and Yolanda Papapietro (right).
“ The name Papapietro Perry is frequently found in the most respected wine industry publications.”
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 with a smile, "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. Wine Spectator recently named it one of the top 20 Pinot Noir producers and honored it with the Critics’ Choice Award.
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 (Bruce's wife Renae is the CEO and Ben's wife Yolanda manages distributor relations), they are able to mix business with pleasure every day and at least one of them is often found in the tasting room.
There’s even a well-equipped kitchen in the cellar where family favorites are prepared for the staff and others who are lucky enough to drop in at the right time. "Our philosophy is that the winery is an extension of our homes and personal hospitality," Ben says.
What to Buy '12 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley - $51
Enticing raspberry, cherry, cola, tea