Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pinot Noir in the Dry Creek Valley

"The Dry Creek Valley is too hot to grow Pinot," you say. You are right. But you can buy grapes from other wine regions with the cooler climate that Pinot needs and still locate your winery in Dry Creek.

This is what Papapietro Perry Winery has done. Founded by longtime friends Ben Papapietro and Bruce Perry, this small winery produces acclaimed Pinot Noir and a small amount of Zinfandel. "Wine Spectator" recently included a feature on California Pinot Noir that rated all of the Papapietro Perry Pinot Noirs they tasted 90 points or above.

When you visit Papietro Perry, you are likely to find Bruce Perry or his wife, Renae, pouring for you. Ben is there less frequently but during harvest look through the open garage door and you are likely to see him working with the grapes. You should be able to taste a few Pinots and one or two Zinfandels. However, production is small and the winery frequently sells out of its various releases.

The tasting room is located at 4791 Dry Creek Road in what might be called a winery park. Adjacent to the same parking lot are Amphora and Peterson wineries, as well as the tasting room for Family Wineries of the Dry Creek Valley. Papapietro Perry is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. When you visit Dry Creek, take a break from the Valleys excellent Zinfandels and Cabernets to taste some excellent Pinot Noir. Better yet, let Blue Heron Custom Tours take you on a private wine country tour that includes a visit to the Dry Creek Valley and Papapietro Perry. You can schedule a tour by calling me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or sending me an e-mail message by clicking here.

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