Emidio Pepe: Artisan of Abruzzo


Emidio Pepe: Artisan of Abruzzo

Wine Team New York |

Immediately south of the Marche on the Adriatic Coast, nestled in the vast shadow of the Apennine Mountains to the west, Abruzzo’s small and humble village Torano Nuovo is home to one of Italy’s most revered and traditional of artisans: Emidio Pepe.

A true pioneer in his naturalistic approach, these legendary wines were born out of small-scale family production and traditional technique. Dating back to Pepe’s first vintage in 1964, indigenous varietals of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano Abruzzese were championed with a meticulous and manual approach, one based in Pepe’s firm yet uncommon belief in their capacity to age. To this day, the red is destemmed by hand, the whites are crushed by foot, both of which are then pressed in a traditional torchio, or basket press. Fermentation takes place in glass-lined concrete, a vessel prized for its neutrality above all else, or as Pepe would put it, “il vetro è sincero” – the glass is honest. Emidio's wines are unfiltered, unfined, and sulfites? Forbidden.

The resulting wines age for decades, where equilibrium, rather than sulfur or aging in wood, enables their miraculous evolution. The 350,000-bottle library of both Montepulciano and Trebbiano the family maintains in their cellar dates back to 1964, each vintage an intimate description of the life, family, and passion behind their production.    

With each bottle older than 2002 already hand decanted by the winery, we recommend a simple reception of our most recent releases of Emidio Pepe’s 2001 and 2002 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, one where the beauty of the wine is its evolution in your very own glass.

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