Emidio Pepe, An Iconic Winemaker From Abruzzo

I decided to repost this article I wrote many years ago about Emidio Pepe. Today I gave the second of two webinars on wines from Abruzzo. It was such a pleasure to spend time with these wines that I’ve been looking at all the times I have written about producers from Abruzzo. This amazing experience at Vinitaly tasting Emidio Pepe’s wines was a huge standout. HIs daughters today own the winery and two of his granddaughters now work in the winery as well. In the intervening years, I’ve also met Stefania Pepe, his third daughter. Truly a visionary, I loved reading my notes on his wines. I found all of that and more in the lovely Montepulciano wines I tasted over the last two days – black and red fruit, spice, minerals and lively acidity. Its great to fall in love again.

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Pepe Family

The Pepe family has been making wine in Abruzzo since 1899. Emidio Pepe took over the winery in 1964 and has been promoting Montepulciano d’Abruzzzo ever since. His wines are made near the city of Teramo in a place called Torano Nuovo, very close to the border of the Marche region and not too distant from the shores of the Adriatic sea. The soils in that area are full of minerals and some lime which produces wines that have lively acidity and mineral notes. Acidity is crucial for the longevity of a wine and many of Pepe’s wines can age for years despite the fact that the wines are made organically and have been for decades. Organic wine making doesn’t allow the use of pesticides or substances that serve to conserve the wine and therefore it is somewhat rare to see older vintages.

Older Vintages of Emidio Pepe's Wines

The white grapes are actually still pressed…

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