In the realm of ageworthy natural wine, Emidio Pepe is as good as it gets. The family has been vinifying wine with a low-intervention mentality in Abruzzo’s Toranesi Hills far before it became fashionable, and today, their bottles are some of the most sought-after cellar additions on the market. The Pepe estate was first established in the late 19th century, though it wasn’t until 1964 that third-generation Emidio Pepe took its winemaking to the next level. A humble and quiet man, Emidio was determined to produce great wine from the start. Meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and cellar were and still are always placed first, and chemicals have long been eschewed from the family’s prized growing sites. All wines are fermented with native yeasts and vinified in cement tanks, so as to avoid external oak flavors on the juice. Wines are bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no added sulfites.
Today, the business remains “all in the family,” with the estate’s fourth and fifth-generations spearheading all operations at the estate. Emidio and Rosa’s daughter Sofia oversees the oenological side of things, while their other daughter Daniela manages all administration and financial aspects. Fifth-generation Chiara De Iulis Pepe manages the export market and spends ample time in both the cellar and vineyards, and at just 18 years old, her younger sister Elisa is quickly making her way into the family business. Together, the family listens to nature, farms organically and biodynamically, and honors local grape varieties as well as local tradition in the cellar. These thought-provoking wines are deemed some of the best—if not the best expressions—of Montepulciano and Trebbiano out there – and unlike the many natural wines of today, these bottles have been built to withstand the test of time.