One late June evening – while overlooking the spread of vineyards below us – we sipped glasses of the Peppucci fine Grechetto wine (this white-wine grape can be cultivated only in Umbria) on the patio outside the Cantina Peppucci.
While filling our wine goblets, young owner Filippo Peppucci told us about leaving behind classical studies and an almost-completed law degree to follow his passione: il vino.
After all, “how can you not dedicate your all to a wine bearing your family name?” he asked us. “My parents bought the vineyards in 2002”, he explained, “when I was young and not yet sure what I wanted….but our Papa’ had always taught us to do what we most wanted to do in the best way possible and…..con passione.”
Papa’ Piero is a lawyer and the Peppucci Cantina family business is run by Filippo, sisters Elisabetta and Agnese with Mamma Luisa overseeing grape production.
Surrounded by the perfumed yellow broom, about 26 acres of grapevines – bearing the grape varieties Grechetto (their only white grape), the prized Umbrian red, Sagrantino, and Sangiovese and Colorino, as well as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvingon and Cabernet Franc – fan out around a Romanesque treasure: the Chiesa di Sant’Antimo, built by the Benedictines in the 13th-century along with an adjacent monastery.
The Peppucci family is now transforming the former monastery into a villa for guests wishing to savor this corner of Umbria.As husband Pino enjoyed the sunset, the Grechetto and chats with Signor Piero, Filippo took me to see the Romanesque church, Sant’Antimo, a medieval limestone gem with a raised altar at the top of stone steps as is typical of early medieval ecclesisastical architecture in Umbria.
In the apse behind the altar, traces of a lost 15th-century fresco were barely visible. Filippo showed me a box holding pieces of the fresco collected in 1987 by a Todi scholar, appassioned of medieval architecture. “How I wish I could afford to restore this fresco,” he sighed.
Signora Luisa greeted us in the attached former monastero, with Giovanni in her arms, Filippo’s son.
Little Giovanni has already made his mark: a Peppucci red wine is named after him. He’ll grow up with wines – and hopefully, with his father’s passione.
Read more on wine passione in Umbria
Click here to read more about re-piecing in fresco restoration
You’ll want to visit the Cantina Peppucci, if near Todi