We have access to some incredibly rare mature whites and reds. Stored at the winery, each year a selection of back vintages is checked, decanted bottle by bottle re-corked and sent around the world!
We have offered wines back to 1983, with access back to the 70’s! Call us on 1300 811 066 if you are interested in the older stocks.
These wines are incredibly drinkable in their youth , with great potential to age.
Emidio rates his 2010 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo as one of the Top 50 years he has made during his 50 year tenure.
Emidio’s 2001 is stunning now! Check out the Video I shot with Chiara talking about this wine.
His whites made from Trebbiano and Pecorino are superb. Textural masterpieces with great harmony, incredible length and depth.
About Emidio Pepe
“Bucking every trend and modern convention, the wines of Emidio Pepe represent one of the most singular expressions in winemaking today.” –Antonio Galloni
Emidio Pepe is a singular producer creating amazingly complex age worthy reds and whites in a region of mass produced, overly engineered versions of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Though the family has been producing wines here since the end of the 19th Century, the winemaking has remained unchanged philosophically since Emidio Pepe took over the estate in 1964. Since 1997, the business and wine production has been in the hands of the fourth generation of the Pepe family with sisters, Daniela and Sofia. And, more recently, the dynamic Chiara De Iulis Pepe has joined the estate as the fifth generation!
An Interview with Three Generations of the Pepe Family
Emidio: Founder, winemaker, grandfather
Sofia: Winemaker, daughter
Chiara: Business director, granddaughter
Emidio Pepe has a very long and rich history. What inspired you to first begin bottling your grandfather’s successful bulk company?
Emidio: The world of agriculture was a fight, especially when you give such value to the proper artisanal farming. At that time you had to create a market, and that’s what I did. My grandfather and father were making some wine for the family, and I learned the techniques from them. I strongly believedin the great potential of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and in myself, and I knew it could compete with the world’s greatest wines. I started working at the age of 14, with both my grandfather and father and working for other peoples’ land. By the age of 30, I decided to focus on the only thing I really knew how to do: make wine. I essentially started from scratch and with incredible enthusiasm began what would become my greatest challenge: producing the best Montepulciano and Trebbiano that nature could give me.
What is the basic philosophy of the Emidio Pepe wines?
Chiara: Grandfather is a true perfectionist, and he always knew that making the wine in a natural and artisanal way was the only way to respect nature’s perfection. He wanted to make refined and world-class wines and that always entailed his complete dedication and his strong determination.
Your vineyards occupy a very special location, perfectly nestled between the Adriactic sea and the Apennin mountains. What are the main influences that this exceptional geographic position imparts on your wines?
Emidio: The influence of the sea mitigates the climate and brings great minerality. The Gran Sasso guarantees us good temperatures between night and day, but also protect us from storms coming from west. This combination creates a microclimate that allows the vines and the grapes to have gradual development and ripening with unique characteristics. It always snows in wintertime, and with the excursions between night and they can reach 15°C. Summers are very warm but we get constant sea breezes from the Adriatic sea, bringing sapidity to our wine.
Tell us about your “foot crush” and the harvest season.
Chiara: Harvest season is a really great time! Grandfather always refused the use of machines, so we still do everything entirely by hand. We all go and pick the grapes early in the morning, then start the foot crushing in the late morning: four or five people stomp on the grapes in
a big wooden tank with a rack at its bottom. As we stomp, the grapes gently break, and the juice flows into a basket outside of the crushing tank. This process allows a constant stimulation of skin with the juice, releasing flavors we otherwise would have lost. For the red grapes, after the picking, it’s time for destemming: we pass the grapes on a grill by hand. That’s key to making elegant Montepulciano, not letting the stem break and collecting only the elegant tannins of the skin.
This collection comes from your family’s cellar with perfect provenance and storage, and the wines are hand decanted. Can you tell us about your philosophy behind hand decanting each bottle prior to shipment?
Sofia: Decantation is done to remove the sediments that occur with time but also to check every single bottle. It’s a process we have been doing since the beginning. Since the wines are never filtered, and Emidio believes that filtration takes the life and power away from the
wine, this was a way of letting the wine be free to decide what it didn’t need anymore, spontaneously. The wine ages in bottles and produces sediment with the elements it doesn’t need anymore. Right before we sell the bottles, we take every single one and pour it into a new one, leaving the deposit in the old one and topping off the new bottle with a second bottle of the same vintage. The cork has the year of the decantation while the label has the year of the harvest. We use two bottles and two corks for each bottle that we sell at the end. It is a process that leaves the wine energetic and with its integrity.
Viticulture & Vinification
The Trebbiano is foot trodden in wooden tubs in order to avoid the contact between the iron presses and the acids of the fruit. The resulting white wines are slightly golden hued, well balanced and complex, with hints of nuts, hay, and yellow fruits.
The Montepulciano bares little relation to most other wines of this appellation. These wines are big and bold, filled with intense flavors of dried black cherries, licorice and wild herbs.
The winemaking regime at Pepe follows an uber-natural and artisinal path as well. Grapes are grown biodynamically, hand-harvested, hand-destemmed, naturally fermented and aged 18-24 months in glass-lined tanks. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered, without added SO2, and aged in their cellar, in bottle, for continued development. Before release, the wines are decanted by hand into new bottles, and then labeled. An extensive stock of older vintages is kept at the cellar.
It’s been 50 years since Emidio Pepe, one of Italy’s best wine estates, has been bottling its own wines (the estate was actually founded in 1899), and a new generation of talented and passionate youngsters here is ready to take on increasingly more responsibility. The wines are minimally handled: grapes biodynamically farmed; only native yeasts are used; there’s no temperature control in the cellar; and cement, not toasty new oak, is the principal winemaking medium. The wines need plenty of aeration to free them of strongly reductive aromas, so decanting a few hours ahead is an absolute necessity. Ian D’Agata, Vinous
Where in the World is Emidio Pepe
The Pepe vineyards are located in the northern province of Teramo, with siliceous soil rich in lime and iron.
*Stocks due to arrive end of April.