Calling all Italophiles… For truly authentic Italian wines, head for Fratelli Perata Winery off West Highway 46 in Paso Robles. Family run by brothers, Gino and Joe Perata, the craft of winemaking dates back to their paternal grandfather and great-uncle in Genoa, Italy.
Fratelli Perata Winery (translates to Perata Brothers) graces 31 hilltop acres on the north end of Paso Robles. Situated in the renown Templeton Wind Gap, the winds blow straight from the ocean across the vineyards, bathing and cooling the grapes with the perfect amount of moisture. A long growing season with hot sunny days and cool nights make this the perfect place for the Italian varietal grapes.
Fratelli Perata is dry-farmed, meaning no supplemental irrigation. With the current drought conditions, the harvest crop size is expected to be half of the normal production for 2014. Barbera, Sangiovese, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Malfalda, Charbono, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Petit Sirah and Cabernet Franc are all estate grown grapes at Fratelli Perata. Each wine is handcrafted, aged in new oak barrels and is representative of a different region in Italy.Cab
Fair warning….Fratelli Perata Winery’s tasting room is cozy. There’s a small tasting bar, a hand painted fresco on the wall depicting the Perata family in the Italian countryside, and stacks of wine barrels from floor to ceiling. Either Carol Perata or daughters Cathy or Joanne, man the tasting bar and are always happy to share the Perata family winemaking history with newcomers.
Fratelli Perata‘s tasting menu is very comprehensive with seven varietals. Tastings begin with the light peppery 2011 Zinfandel, moving onto the 2011 Bel’ Bruzzo, comprised of 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes found in Central Italy. Next, is my personal favorite, the 2011 Charbono, a native grape of northwestern Italy, which produces a light-bodied fruit forward red wine, similar to a California Pinot Noir.
When the weekend crowds converge, head outside to the bocce courts or stroll around the grounds to admire the rolling hillside vineyard views. As they say in Italy, “A Presto”, “See You Soon”… www.fratelliperata.com