Comfort Food #15: Chiara Pepe – The crisis as a time to reflect about your origins
“[Agriculture] Is something so unique, so intimate, so needed. We have to find a way to pass on this incredible heritage.”
Chiara de Iulis Pepe — Emidio Pepe Winery, 02.05.20
Hardly any other product embodies the character of a region better than handcrafted wine. In episode #15 of our #comfortfoodtalk series we spoke with Chiara de Iulis Pepe, who is responsible for the international marketing of the renowned wines at the @emidiopepe winery, a family business in its fifth generation. Emidio Pepe, the grandson of the founder, is considered a pioneer and outstanding personality on the Italian wine scene because he believed early on in the potential of the local grape varieties Trebbiano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and made them known in the wine world. The wines are handmade, inspired by nature and have an unadulterated expression, influenced by the terroir of northern Abruzzo.
At the time of the interview, however, we did not reach Chiara in Abruzzo, but in Burgundy: which is where she has been deepening her knowledge of biodynamic viticulture at another winery since November. This gave us the opportunity to dive into the topic of agriculture – a form of agriculture that gives something back to natural ecosystems instead of exploiting them: “Farmers do not cultivate, they collaborate with nature”. Diversity in the field, protection of biodiversity and, last but not least, the support of soil fertility are key here. Because it is no coincidence that the well-known term “terroir” comes from the word “terre”: in French “earth”, “soil”. We talked to her about how she perceives the connection to gastronomy, whether natural wine will finally prevail and how young people can get excited about agriculture again.