Producer in Focus
Emidio Pepe, Abruzzo, Italy
It all began with Emidio Pepe...
The Emidio Pepe winery was founded in the late nineteenth century, when Emidio Pepe, grandfather of the current owner, found in the Toranesi Hills the ideal terroir for the two main varieties of Abruzzo: Trebbiano and Montepulciano.
Even by 1944 his son Giuseppe was known throughout the area for the quality of his wine. Twenty years later it was his grandson, Emidio, who inherited the land and the knowledge to elevate the Trebbiano and Montepulciano to the test bottle.
In the 1960s, Emidio Pepe was one of the first pioneering producers who began the new process of bottling wine. After enduring much criticism from his local counterparts, he stuck to his method and emerged as one of the most iconic producers in Italy, and even throughout the world.
Their organic vineyards are worked by hand; the grapes are handpicked, hand sorted, pressed by foot and no chemicals or yeasts are added at any stage. This is all done to produce stunning, long ageing wine that expresses its terroir even after decades in the bottle.
50 years later, after consistent hard work and determination in making the best wine in the region, the world recognised his life achievements by awarding multiple accolades to Emidio & his family. His wines are now served in most, if not all, of the best restaurants in the world, as well as being present in some of the best collector and amateur cellars.
"Have you always known that you'd make one of the world's greatest reds?"
"Yes, it was my plan right from the very beginning"
The estate can be found in the hills, between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, creating excellent conditions for the Montepulciano and Trebbiano grapes that grow there. The vines are grown along pergolas, which means that the leaves soak up the hot summer sun, while the grapes hang below in the cooler shade. This technique also allows better air flow around the plants. The soil, mainly made of clay and calcareous rock, is maintained using traditional methods. The grapes are picked by hand and treatments using synthetic chemicals are strictly avoided.
Another peculiarity of Pepe is that he uses exclusively cement tanks, rather than oak barrels. He sees this barrel use as a new, untraditional way to mature wine, leading to unnecessary oak tones. It is unfiltered and unfined, and sulphites are forbidden. When older bottles are decanted into new ones for sale, even this is done by hand alone – even refusing to use a funnel for fear of oxidation.Follow Emidio Pepe
Why Not Try...
For this Autumn, if you’d like to try some of Emidio’s wine, our recommendation is his 2015 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
This young and bold juice shows pronounced and concentrated aromas of black fruit, leather, meat, spices, earth, smoke and liquorice mixed with great truffle notes which will only get stronger! It’s well born, with elegant tannins and will age beautifully for decades to come. With the game season well on its way, this is the perfect wine for romantic lockdown dinners around a braised partridge or grilled duck breast.
We've also created a special Emidio Pepe Wine Box. A special selection of 6 iconic bottles that truly express the nobility of these wines.Emidio Pepe Producer Box
"When I think of autumn, I think of truffle. When I think of truffle, I think of Emidio Pepe."
"One of my best wine-related memories is visiting the estate a few years ago. We enjoyed multiple vintages of Trebbiano and Montepulciano going back older than my birth year and shared pasta with Emidio’s family. When I think of autumn, I think of truffle. When I think of truffle, I think of Emidio Pepe."