Italian Traditions…Napa-style Winemaking
The Ideal Blend of Two Cultures
ITALIAN ROOTS run deep in the Napa Valley (and not just from the grapevines)… where California’s history of fine winemaking began over 100 years ago. After all, when the Italians landed in America – with them they brought their recipes for homemade bread, pasta and wine – the Holy Trinity of the Italian dinner table.
In Italy’s small restaurants, you will often find that the owner has made his own wine and olive oil, and often grows his own herbs and vegetables. With that tradition in mind, in 2000, Pèpe had asked his good friend and famed Italian winemaker Piero Antinori to help him design and develop a red wine specifically tailored to go with Pèpe’s Southern Italian food menu at Little Napoli. It was Pèpe’s idea to create an Italian-style wine, but made here in California, where he could easily assist in the winemaking process. Piero Antinori owns the magnificent Antica Winery in Napa, located at 1500 ft. elevation high up on Atlas Peak and assigned well-known winemaker Glenn Salva to collaborate on the project.
After many test wine blends in 2001, Pèpe, Piero and Glenn finally believed they had created a wine that would prove to be a delicious expression of its Atlas Peak AVA pedigree and a style best suited to compliment the food at Pèpe’s restaurants. Thus, the PÈPE WINERY was born.
The flagship wine, the PÈPE “Vesuvio” is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot & Syrah with about 500 cases produced each year. A Chardonnay is also produced along with a Pinot Noir, both in quantities of about 250 cases per year.
PÈPE wines are available at all of the Pèpe Restaurants and Vino Napoli acts as the official tasting room and shop. The wines can be shipping anywhere in the USA and ordered online at pepeshop.com.
Glenn Salva: Wine Grower/Winery Consultant
Napa Valley winegrower Glenn Salva has worked with Rich Pèpe in the making of PÈPE Wine since the first vintage was produced in 2001. Glenn has made wine in the Napa Valley since 1986. Prior to that he worked as a winemaker in Monterey County for The Monterey Vineyard
“I’m delighted to share this responsibility and my experience with Pèpe in crafting a wine that showcases its Napa Valley pedigree. The PÈPE is a unique wine produced by blending Napa Valley mountain grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Depending on the vintage, the percent of each grape varietal varies so as to produce a wine consistent in personality and style”, said Glenn.
Salva’s winegrowing philosophy is to produce wines that have a definite expression of character, without losing track of elegance and harmony. Glenn says, “My aim is to follow Pèpe’s philosophy of ‘Italian heritage – Napa style winemaking’ along with respecting the character of the grape variety and best possible adoption to the terroir in order to produce the finest expression of PÈPE Wine.