In Napa, California, the wineries are all slick and polished. Even the bad ones have beautiful tasting area. My favourite Napa Winery, Pride Mountain, is like visiting the symphony at its best. Refined. Complex. Beautiful. You leave feeling refreshed.
Visiting Paso Robles is more like an Abbie Lincoln concert. Smooth. Smoky. "They call it jazz."
We recently visited Paso, and found our way to Fratelli Perata. As you pull up the driveway, it may not immediately be obvious that you are at a winery. Granted, there are grapes growing all over, but the farmhouse and garage on the premises don't say vineyard.
Inside the garage is a bar, a series of barrels, and a sign explaining why they can't serve food on the premises. The woman who greeted us was the proprietor of the establishment. Her long gray hair and tie-dye shirt identified her as a member of the counter-culture. She explained that she and her family had bought this property in the 1970s and that all the wine their was made by them. Their daughter, educated in viticulture at UC Davis has helped keep them modern. This is a family operation in every sense of the word.
She proceeded to pour us a dozen or so fabulous wines. Many of them blends, all of them delicious. While the finish on many of these wines was not as long as one might like, there's no sticker shock, either. We have only once before signed up for a wine club (Kenneth Volk - a club we continue to receive wine from). But we felt compelled to sign up for another. There will be Fratelli Perata served at our barbecues.
Fratelli Perata Winery
1595 Arbor Rd
Paso Robles, CA 93446-9669
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