Bruce Perry, co-owner and co-founder of Papapietro Perry Winery, passed away recently at home in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley.
Born April 21, 1941, a third generation San Franciscan, Bruce worked for the San Francisco Newspaper Agency for more than 30 years, which is where he met his colleague and friend Ben Papapietro, before starting the winery.
It was also in San Francisco, at the historic Page One located behind the San Francisco Chronicle building, that Bruce met his wife Renae in 1976.
In the early ‘80s, along with Ben and Yolanda Papapietro, Bruce and Renae Perry, began making wine as a hobby in a San Francisco basement. Together they founded Papapietro Perry Winery in 1998 and have consistently made world-class Pinot Noir, and a few other varietals, since.
Creative, fun-loving and kind, Bruce was a visionary and idea guy who loved wine. Together with Ben he worked harvests for some winemaker friends, learning along the way. Eventually both couples finished up careers in other fields before relocating from San Francisco to Sonoma County to found and run their own commercial winery full time.
Anyone who was lucky enough to be at the winery when Bruce was there discovered his legendary generosity, they would never leave empty handed as there was always food and wine on the tasting room bar. He loved New Orleans jazz music, traveling many times to the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and enjoyed creating good times and memories with family and friends.
“It was Bruce’s dream to own a winery and he made those of us around him believe we could do it, then together we made it happen,” said Renae Perry, “The life we were able to build was so much more than we ever imagined and brought him so much joy.”
Bruce Perry is survived by his wife Renae Perry, brother Alan Perry, sister Karen Agosta, three children Jeanette Perry Thorson, Michael Perry and Diane Perry Smith, and two granddaughters Sarah Thorson and Rachael Thorson.
A celebration of Bruce Perry’s life will be held on Sunday, March 20, 2022 from 3-6 p.m. at Villa Chanticleer in Healdsburg. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Bruce’s name to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation: https://www.jazzandheritage.org/