Emidio Pepe 50th Anniversary Dinner, with Chiara & Emidio Pepe
at L'Artusi Restaurant, NYC (5/7/2014)

A wonderful dinner put on by L'Artusi Restaurant and NY Vintners in the private wine cellar dining room at L'Artusi Restaurant in the West Village. The guests of honor were Emidio Pepe and his granddaughter Chiara de Iulis, who walked us through the wines and the history of the winery. This dinner was one of a number of events that the winery is participating in to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Emidio's first vintage.

Azienda Agricola Emidio Pepe is a historic winery in the town of Torano Nuovo in the province of Teramo in the region of Abruzzo. The winery is located about 15 km from the Adriatic Sea on the east coast of Italy. It produces four wines: a white from the Trebbiano d'Abruzzo grape, a white from the Pecorino grape (starting only in 2010), and a rose (Cerasuolo) and a red from the Montepulciano grape. This dinner focussed only on the Trebbiano and red Montepulciano wines.

The winery was founded by the first Emidio Pepe in 1899. His son, Giuseppe, then ran the winery. Then in 1964, the current Emidio Pepe began running the winery. Soon joined by his wife Rosa. Today his daughters Daniela and Sofia have joined him in the business. Chiara is Daniela's daughter. Emidio's oldest daughter, Stefania, has started her own winery.

For more background and tasting notes on this winery, see my write-up of a previous, longer vertical of Emidio Pepe wines.

The wines were opened but not decanted (as per Emidio's instructions) at around 5:30pm. Dinner started at around 7pm and ended around 11. It was a most enjoyable evening. The food at L'Artusi is superb. Our menu was designed and executed by Chef Erin Shambura to pair with these wines and it did so brilliantly. Chiara said that Emidio often doesn't eat much at dinners like this because he prefers the food of his home. Tonight, he ate readily, which is a testament to not only the quality of the food but also its authenticity.

The wine list and wine service at L'Artusi are also excellent. Executive Beverage Director Joe Campanale and Beverage Director Catherine Gerdes were on hand pouring the wines and adding to Chiara's commentary.
Click on a photo with a border for a larger view.

People photos are together at the bottom of the page.


2009 & 2007 Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
Spring Pea Salad with Yogurt, Poppy Seed, and Lemon.
Quite a good match to the Trebbianos. The actual bottles disappeared before I could take a photo, so I took these from bottles in my cellar.

1985 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Risotto with Morels and Parmesan.
Again, delicious and an excellent match to the wine.

2000 & 2001 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Stinging Nettle Pici with Duck Ragu and Pecorino.
Again, delicious and an excellent match to the wine. A handmade pasta using nettles like spinach pasta uses spinach.

2003 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo in Magnum
Quail a la Plancha with Rainbow Swiss Chard and Parsnip Puree.
The quail was marinated in vinegar, but still went quite well with the wine.

2005 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Fennel Crusted Pork Loin with Spring Onion, Fennel Puree and Pancetta.
This was a stunning dish. The fennel went so well with the pork and it all went so well with the wine.

Rhubarb Tiramisu with Mascarpone Mousse, Brachetto Syrup and Amaretti Crumbs.
This was delicious, but I was getting really full at this point.

Notes posted from CellarTracker.


Once again, this dinner proved to me that these wines rank among the world's greatest wines. Emidio Pepe had a dream. No according to him, he knew 50 years ago when he bottled his first vintage, that his wines would rank among the world's greatest. To be able to sit with him and enjoy his marvelous wines was a special treat. He speaks no English, but as the evening progressed, we had less and less problem communicating.

Emidio's granddaughter Chiara is a terrific ambassador for their wines. She is charming, her English is excellent, and she exhibits a great passion for her family, its history, and its wines.

People Photos

Chiara tells us about the history of her grandfather's winery.
Joe Campanale pours the 2009 Trebbiano.
Catherine Gerdes pours the 2007 Trebbiano.
Chiara discusses the reds.
Perry Porricelli of NY Vintners, Albany native and Managing Partner
of the Epicurean Group August Cardona, the FWG, and Emidio Pepe.
Chiara, Joe Campanale, and Shane Benson of NY Vintners.
Emidio Pepe.
Emidio Pepe.
The service at L'Artusi was excellent.
Chiara chats with Shane Benson of NY Vintners.
Emidio Pepe speaks, the FWG listens.
Emidio Pepe speaks, the FWG listens.
Photos containing the FWG taken by Shane Benson.
L'Artusi Chef Erin Shambura takes a bow for her brilliant food.
Chiara is surprised on her birthday with candle in her dessert.
The group says goodbye to Emidio Pepe.
Emidio Pepe.




All original content © Ken Vastola