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De Fermo

In Abruzzo, Italy, De Fermo is the story of two people falling in love; not only with one another; but also with the land.

From a very young age, Stefano Papetti Ceroni had been fascinated by the aromas of wine, and would even go out to buy bottles at age 11, simply to smell the liquid and to try to understand what he was reading in his mother’s cookery books. However, it wasn’t until he met the love of his life, Eloisa de Fermo, and then fell in love for a second time — with her family’s farm — that he began to piece his love for wine together with his passion for farming.

In 2007, when he decided to travel to Abruzzo on the weekends to farm one hectare, the magic began, and Stefano’s dreams began to be realised. Suffice to say, he has never looked back.

LITTLEWINE caught up with Stefano during a visit to London in 2022.

People: Stefano Papetti Ceroni & Eloisa de Fermo

Place: Abruzzo, Italy

Varieties: Montepulciano, Pecorino, Trebbiano, Chardonnay and Malvasia

Farming: Biodynamic

Hectares: 16 hectares

Did You Know? De Fermo is a domaine focused on polyculture: they also produce olive oil, olives, cereals for bread, flour and pasta, legumes, herbs, and also tend bees and cows.

LITTLEWINE: Wow – dedication from a young age! We are also fascinated by flavour. But how did that passion eventually translate into winemaking?

Stefano: Well, I met my wife in Bologna in 2001. She was also studying law. We married in 2005, and together during that period we dreamt about farming, but it was just a dream. A few years after the wedding, I visited the farm that her family owns in Abruzzo, three hours by car from my town. I fell in love for the second time. The first time with my wife, the second time with that place.

LITTLEWINE: That’s beautiful. What happened next?!

Stefano: I couldn’t ask my family to support my will to change my life. I was 32, a lawyer, and I respected the tradition of my family. So I started very slowly. In 2007, I began visiting the farm every weekend, and I asked my father-in-law if he could let me manage one hectare of the vineyard in the way that I wanted, and he said yes. In the years before, I had studied a lot about anthroposophy, because my mother studied it when she was young. She transmitted her passion for studying, freedom and that sense of going deep in everything that we do to me. So, by 2008 I was working one hectare using biodynamic preparations, and trying to apply...

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