Fratelli Perata » Profile
Arbor Road off Hwy. 46 West. Producers of handmade Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Sangiovese and Zinfandel estate-bottled wines. Wonderful award-winners from our beautiful hill-side vineyards. Family-owned and operated. By appointment, please. 1595 Arbor Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. 805.238.2809. www.fratelliperata.com.
Fratelli Perata is an apropos name for this small winery and vineyard run by the brothers Gene and Joe Perata and their families. Fratelli Perata in Italian, means Perata Brothers. Brothers, Gene and Joe Perata, rekindled the winemaking history of their father, grandfather and great uncle when they established their winery using a small portion of the grapes grown on their 25 acre vineyard. Sons of Italian immigrants, Gene and Joe learned winemaking at the knees of their father and great uncle who produced hundreds of gallons of wine for family and friends while living in Camarillo, California. Gene and Joe were taught from the very beginning about the need for hands on work to produce top quality wines.
Gene was earning a master's degree in sociology at Washington State University and making wine in his dorm room when he met his wife, Carol. Carol grew up in the Seattle suburbs. Following graduation and marriage, the Peratas were lured away from the halls of academia by a desire to return to Gene's agricultural roots. Gene and Carol became familiar with the Paso Robles area during travels up and down the coast between Washington and Ventura County. In 1977, with brother Joe, they purchased the Arbor Road site of their vineyard and winery. After much consideration, the Peratas chose this hilltop site over others because of the sunny climate cooled by Pacific breezes.
The Peratas' initial plantings included Zinfandel for Gene and Joe's father who loved his "Zingarella." Their 25-acre vineyard, established in 1980, is completely hand worked and hand harvested. Carol says, "Our grapes are cultivated for small berry size. This produces less tonnage, but a higher skin to pulp ratio for rich extracts which give our wines a fuller flavor." From the beginning the Peratas followed the philosophy of Gene and Joe's father, who believed in stressing the plants to produce lower crop yields for the most intense fruit.
Winemaker Gene got an early start in his career by "helping" during the crush at the young age of 5. Family and friends getting together to crush the fruit continues to be one of his favorite aspects of being a winemaker. From Gene's hands on beginning, he followed up the pursuit of viticulture and winemaking by taking classes at the University of California Davis, eventually obtaining on the job training while planting their own vineyard.
The Peratas also planted Joe's favorites, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot at the advice of Paso Robles winemaker, Ken Volk. Gene has always been a fan of the Italian varietals. Carol remembers putting their youngest of three daughters in her car seat while Carol gathered Nebbiolo cuttings to add to the growing family vineyard. In 1990, Sangiovese was added to the Perata acreage.
Gene and Carol Perata live on the property and manage the day-to-day operations. Along with Gene's brother Joe and his wife Reva, they are in complete control of the estate-grown and bottled wines. Carol, a busy mother of three daughters is at the heart of the operation. At harvest time, it is not unusual to see Carol at the controls of the forklift or helping to hand punch the cap in the small fermentation tanks. She also served as Treasurer for the Paso Robles Vintners and Growers Association from 1994-1996 and chaired the very successful Paso Robles Zinfandel Weekend in March of 1995 and 1996.
Fratelli Perata produces approximately 2,000 cases of estate wines annually. The entire Perata family is justly proud of their wines which are consistent medal winners. Their Merlot has been critically acclaimed as one of the best in the state. Their 1990 Merlot won a gold medal at the Los Angeles County Fair, their 1992 Merlot received a gold at San Francisco International Wine Competition and their 1993 Merlot won a gold at San Diego National Wine Competition.
In addition to Fratelli Perata's Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, the popular Merlot and the delightful Sangiovese and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, guests to the Perata's will leave raving about Carol's amazing muffaletta, an olive condiment served with bread.
1595 Arbor Road
Paso Robles, 93446
By appointment, please
Red Meritage Blend