Stefano Papetti Ceroni’s interest in wine was obvious from the age of 12, when he started reading wine reviews in his mother’s cooking magazines. By age 18, he was buying every bottle he could. The route to a career in wine, though, was long. Both he and his wife, Eloisa De Fermo, had successful law careers in Bologna when they were married in 2005.
When Stefano first visited the De Fermo family vineyards in 2007, Stefano was smitten. He later stumbled upon a long-abandoned winery, dating back to 1785, buried under the family house. This was a sign too powerful to ignore - Stefano began restoring the winery and started to make wine. He and Eloisa took over the estate in 2009 and immediately began converting it to biodynamics for which they are now certified.
The vineyards are predominantly planted with the typical grapes of the region, Montepulciano and Pecorino, but also include nearly 3 acres of Chardonnay imported from France and planted in 1926 by his wife's Burgundy-loving great uncle.
Stefano and Eloisa see their vineyard and wine production as parts of a greater whole, with their vines growing alongside olives, cereals and legumes, and the couple managing the entire farm holistically.
Modern technology is eschewed at De Fermo - there are no temperature controlled tanks, no fining, no filtration and only wild yeast is used for fermentation. As Stefano says “The goal is to have wines that have character, that are individual, that are genuine”
* Listen to Stefano's podcast on In The Drink, with Joe Campanale
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