Fratelli Perata was established in 1987 by the Perata brothers, Gino and Joe. We use only the grapes of our vineyards which were planted in 1980. these are hand - made wines, total production just 2,000 cases yearly. We believe low tonnage, small grape berries combined with new oak barrels produce big, complex wines suitable for aging, yet drinkable in their youth, due to soft Paso Robles tannins. Unfined and unfiltered.
For a small family winery, we produce a number of wines, many of which come and go quickly throughout the year.
Many of our wines need time so we don't release them right away. Think what would be library wines elsewhere are our first releases.
Check our order form for what is currently in stock. Here's some of what we've made recently:
This page contains our current notes in "web" format. You can also get extended notes in a .pdf printable version of the notes by clicking on the "tech" button.
Announcing the arrival of a real super Super-Tuscan style blend. This baby is indeed big. It inherits all the best that drought-stressed vines have to offer, without any of the drawbacks of a prolonged drought. Timing is everything, as this 2013 vintage proves. This is superb. Since this is a Sangiovesedriven blend, it becomes very approachable even now, yet is very complex.
This vintage highlights the warm, dry-weather traits of Sangiovese. The driving flavors are definitely the fruits, strawberry and cherry primarily. The warm weather also produced lots of tannin and lower acidity. While the cooler-weather traits like lavender and the zing of acidity are still present, they aremuch more muted in this vintage.
our maternal grandfather, would not want you to ponder how wonderfully
complex his namesake wine is, nor spend too much time rhapsodizing over
it. We agree that in some ways you should just go ahead and drink it.
But to hold onto it for as long as you can (well, maybe not forever,
like some people we know) would certainly make this wine a proud
showpiece at any function. Like any doting parent, we love to show off
this wine. Especially if paired with good friends and Chicken
The reasons for this wine at this winery
are mainly twofold: our Italian heritage comes from near Piemonte, the
Italian Barbera producing region; and Gino and Carol loved Louis
Martini Mountain Barbera in the early 1970’s. We planted a small number
of vines here just for us. Cathy, clever daughter, said it was great
and we should make enough for everyone. Our first, very small, vintage
was 2005. Soon our secret stash became a public and winery favorite.
Since then, we have found more and more ways to enjoy this wine. When
young, the high acidity in the wine loves high acid foods like
spaghetti and lasagna. With a couple years of age on it, any rich food
will do, from steak to pasta to pizza. Or for those with lots of
patience, let it reach ten years and it doesn’t need anything but your
full attention. The high acid and tannin of a young Barbera mean that
it ages beautifully and if you can, follow our example and have a nine
year old Barbera with homemade spinach and beef ravioli at Christmas
time. If you can’t wait that long, try, also from Piemonte, a guanciale
and chestnut stuffing, as in Green Cheese and Guanciale Chicken Thighs.
This 2012 vintage will find you opening a bottle soon and often. Very
mouth filling, it needs some respect, but, whew, it is good.
We have this variety in our vineyard because we love it, and it produces wines reminiscent of our family’s wines in Italy. It is the most widely planted grape variety in Piemonte. The Perata family came to the US from the border of Piemonte and Liguria, so we have a historical family connection to Barbera. It was a “family” planting in our vineyard, in 1980: just enough for a few gallons for us, not to sell at the winery. Our children, however, were also quite taken by this food friendly wine. They insisted we plant enough vines to let everyone become familiar with it. Of course, we acquiesced. As a wine, it is quite sensitive to its vineyard. Barbera was long used as just a “filler” wine, grown in California’s Central Valley. There the evening temperatures were comparatively high. The resulting wine didn’t maintain the wine’s characteristic acidity, but had good color. Most of those wines were blended with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and put in jugs. Here, with warm days that spike high at 2 PM, then drop like a rock down to 50 degrees by 5 AM, Barbera grapes get ripe, butstill maintain their acidity. The result is a balanced wine, with finesse and great ageability.
Barbera is a child of the drought: rich fruit, great color as usual,
still with enough acid for aging. Since 2013 was only the second year
of low rainfall, our production is pleasantly sufficient to supply most
of us. Enjoy this early on with a picnic including Pepperoni Bread.
In Italy, Barolo reigns as king, with Chianti the prince. In France, it is Cabernet Sauvignon, although some may argue Pinot Noir rules. In Abruzzo, we don’t argue, we just drink. And when we drink, it’s often Montepulciano d’Abruzzo because it is just so good. From Gino’s grandfather Bambino and mother Mafalda’s home region in Italy comes the grape variety we’ve named Bel’Bruzzo. (Wines that are approachable to drink shouldn’t have unapproachable names.) This deep-into-the-drought vintage has kept its fun loving style: black cherries and not harsh. It seems to have moved from a straight pork pairing to a Marco Polo explorer mode. We pair it this year with Skewered Teriyaki Beef..pdf printable extended Notes for the current vintage ("Tech Sheet")
The growing season of the 2013 vintage was not an unusual one for us; we’d seen this type of year before. Very little rain, then an early warm up followed by a very hot summer. This led to an earlier than usual harvest (almost but not quite a record for us). The wines coming fresh out of the press, especially the Cabernets, were heavy and tannic with lower acidities. Again, not unusual, they justneed to age.
Fast forward to
spring of 2016. As per our release “schedule,” this 2013 “easy
drinking” Cab Sauv should have been released in the Spring 2016
allocation, but we knew it wasn’t going to be ready to drink then, so
we decided to wait for Fall 2016. To prepare to bottle this Cab, we
pull a sample from each barrel and taste them. For the everyday Cab we
look for fruity, silky barrels. Surprise, surprise, there aren’t any,
even six months after our normal release time! Each barrel is big and
intense with rich flavors and very dry tannin. There weren’t any that
matched what we were looking for! So Gino and Cathy picked the barrels
that were easiest to drink and bottled them, hoping that in September
the wine would be ready. Well, it wasn’t, so here we are, a year later
than normal and this wine is still tannic, but oh, so greatly rounded
with fruit that it envelopes your senses. So, you know, age it or open
it early (8 hours early!) and pair it with our Spicy Thai Noodle.
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva
Being weather obsessed is sort of the nature of the winemaking business. We know that every condition that
the grape experiences in the vineyard forms a characteristic that adds complexity to the wine. 2013 offered no
major heat spikes or cool stretches. The early warm dry spring allowed for a great balance of acidity and sugar
with good color and tannins. Dry conditions usually produce small berries which have a concentrated skin to
pulp ratio. This affords great structure with optimal flavor. For us, these dry farmed small berries caused us the
most angst while crushing, blocking up the crusher with grape skins due to such a little amount of juice. The
cap of the crushed grapes are then painstakingly punched down by hand, *flexes muscles*, three times a day
for the duration of the primary fermentation. Never argue with the wine crew at the end of harvest, they are
very strong. The result of the harvest is a small amount of new wine from the tiny berries. What makes it all
worth the effort is how great the wine becomes. Add some new French oak barrels, lots of time, patience after
bottling, and a great meal. All that hard work becomes well worth it. Think about sipping this wine while not
much else is on your mind. You could pair it with food, but that’s just an afterthought with this vintage.
Our normally easy going Cabernet Franc
vines decided in 2014 that they had been deprived of water for too
long. The vines set a rather small crop and in July we thinned that
crop even further to try to appease these fussy vines. The result was a
very rich, fruity wine with big body and good tannin but not quite as
much earthiness as usual. Maybe it’s okay the vines were fussy when
they give us such good grapes as a result. The only drawback is there
is barely any of this delicious wine. So drink up and enjoy it while
you can, it won’t be around for long. It will need a little something
to tame the fruit, so pair it with Smoky Chicken Soup.
Again with the fruit! As we progressed deeper into
the drought, this accessible, great with garlic, drink the whole
bottle-style of wine finally slipped over 13% alcohol. With other grape
varieties, a bump of alcohol in wine usually forebodes the dreaded
pruney/raisiny portions of an aroma wheel. Not to fear with Charbono,
though. The weather bumped up the fruit, so we reduced the percentage
of new French oak barrels to showcase the unique flavors of this
Italian variety. It reminds us of strolling through orchards in Italy,
with figs, plums and cherry romancing our senses. Bring on the soft
breezes, warm sun, a simple picnic on a hillside. Or you might roundup
all the family for a SophiaLoren movie and a dinner of Roasted Chicken with Garlic Gravy.
Named and blended in honor of Gino’s mother, this
wine is a reflection of our dear Mafalda. Mafalda liked to drink her
wines, not age them, so we do our best to make this blend easy to
drink. She didn’t usually drink wine by itself; she almost always had
food to go with it. Her favorite dishes always included mushrooms,
usually porcini. 2013 didn’t fully cooperate on the easy drinking part
for this wine. We picked the earthiest and smoothest Cab Franc barrels
we made, but there is still a lot of tannin in this vintage. Have
something rich andmushroomy and you won’t notice the tannin! Our suggestion is Mushroom and Focaccia Stuffing.
Has this variety become the Rodney Dangerfield of wines? No respect? Sometimes it seems like it, but we think not. Our Merlot is not simple, silly, easily dismissed, nor easily forgotten. So we should give it a fanciful name like “Big Daddy” and it would be given the respect that it deserves. Then some people who say they don’t like Merlot would happily drink this Merlot. Luckily, our full-bodied Merlots have always had their following. We haven’t had to do much arm twisting to make the vintagesdisappear. And with this tiny vintage, it will disappear way too fast for us.
This latest vintage is a definite “open at breakfast, drink at dinner” wine that needs decanting. It will always be rich and lush. There is a huge range of flavors that need time to integrate, like any special occasion wine. Have some respect, let it age. It has a lot to enchant your senses. We declare that you will not be able to forget this wine. Here is our latest, maybe greatest, Merlot. Make the Asparagus Salad a few times, until you perfect it to your taste. Then you might open a bottle of Merlotto pair with it..pdf printable extended Notes for the current vintage ("Tech Sheet")
2013 Petit Verdot
In France, this variety is considered a blending
grape, not worthy to stand alone. Here in California, we do things a
little differently. While Petit Verdot can be a tough grape to get to
know, once you’ve gotten to be good friends, life is just a little more
exciting. Petit Verdot is the tannin king. Its job is to have richer,
darker color and more tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon. This does make it
a little harsh when young, especially in 2013, when the berries were
particularly small and the resulting wines very heavy. Give this wine
some space in your cellar and you will be greatly rewarded down the
line. For those of us who just can’t wait, open it before you sit down
to breakfast and then let it breathe until the Pumpkin Curry Broccoli
Salad is ready for dinner. Then pair the twoand see how friendly Petit Verdot can be!
2013 Petite Sirah
Petite Sirah is technically a Rhone variety since
it is the offspring of Syrah and another Rhone variety, but here in
California, we think of it as Zinfandel’s big brother. Petite Sirah has
the raspberry and spiciness just like the Zinfandel, but is much bigger
in body and higher in tannin. So for those who love the flavor of Zin
but need more umph to their wine, Petite Sirah is a great choice. 2013
was a warm, dry year, so this Petite Sirah has rich fruity flavors and
hints of spiciness but the big component is tannin. This vintage is big
and heavy so it really needs some time for the tannin to soften, or
rich flavorful food now to mellow it out. Try our Flank Steak recipe;
it is packed with flavor to make the Petite Sirah go down easy.
2012 Sangiovese & 2012 Sangiovese Wine Club Special Selection
Back in 2009 we finally admitted we needed to
plant more Sangiovese. So we ordered new, baby Sangiovese vines with
special rootstock that could handle our poor soil and no water. We
planted these in January of 2010 and then trained and cared for them to
make sure they were healthy. 2012 was their first year of production,
so we had a significant increase in production. We decided that with
the extra wine we could make a special bottling, reserved only for our
wine club. We selected the very best barrels and set them aside to be
bottled separately. The remainder we split between the Bambino Grande
(a Super Tuscan blend) and our “regular” Sangiovese. Both the regular
and special selection Sangiovese are big and rich, with excellent
fruit. Both will age a very long time but if you have both, we would
suggest drinking the regular first and aging the special selection.
Enjoy with Tuscan Bean Dip.
2013 Tre Sorelle
Named in honor of the three Perata sisters this is a wine of great depth and structure. This vintage is another
knock out. The Tre Sorelle blend receives a powerful punch of fruit and acid from the Cab Riserva, big body of
fruit, tannin from the Merlot and smoky fruit from the Cabernet Franc. The three sisters is a representation for
the three Perata sisters as well as the wines in the blend being considered “sister” wines. All individual, but are
similar in characteristics.
Not our typical Zin, but typical for a Zin from drought years. The warm drought made deep rich fruit flavors. There is a bit of spice to this wine that isn’t completely overpowered by the commanding fruit. It is subtly there creating a level of depth. No pepper to this one, so pull the brownies, dark chocolate and cranberry almond biscotti. Think dessert.
.pdf printable extended Notes for the current vintage ("Tech Sheet")