The decision to begin making wine from our vineyards, set out with a goal of having the wines we produced follow the same tradition of hands on attention to detail that has been such an important part of our vines for three generations. We undertook a mission to find a winemaker with roots in the land as deep as ours. Since each of our individual bonds to the Napa Valley had been formed decades ago, the decision to have Gary Galleron as our winemaker achieved that goal. The care we give the grapes in the vineyard all the way through harvest would continue into the winery with Gary's philosophy of handcrafted wines. Our wines carry forward the quality of our vineyard, the character of the Yountville Appellation and most importantly Gary's winemaking style allowing for true Cabernet Sauvignon varietal expression in the wines produced.
Gary Galleron had no choice; he was born with vineyard dust under his fingernails and Cabernet Sauvignon in his veins. Gary grew up playing in the vineyards on the street which bears his family name, Galleron Road. His grandparents, French immigrants, Angele & Virgile Galleron, settled in the Napa Valley in 1918 and began the winegrowing legacy that Gary maintains today. Gary knows grapes; he has worked on his family's vineyard since birth, learning every aspect of the wine industry, literally from the ground up. Gary never learned to rollerskate - he was too busy picking grapes or pruning vines or lighting smudge pots.
Gary first began experimenting with home winemaking while in high school and went on to graduate from California State University, Fresno with a degree in viticulture and enology in 1976. That same year, Gary started up the winemaking ladder at Chateau Montelena under the guidance of Mike Grgich. Eager to test his newly acquired winemaking skills, Gary made Late Harvest Riesling in stainless steel drums in his garage and entered it in the "Napa Valley Home Winemakers Association" competition at the local Calistoga Fair. Gary not only won 1st prize but also captured the top honor, "Best of Show." On July 2, 1979 the headline in the local paper read, "Galleron. . . Takes Wine Awards". Since then, Gary has gone on to produce world-class, award-winning wines for the most prestigious names in the Napa Valley including Whitehall Lane, Grace Family, Hartwell, Vineyard 29, Del Dotto, Seavey, S. Anderson, Chateau Montelena, William Harrison Vineyards and Mario Perelli-Minetti Winery and now for Perata Vineyards.