Napa Valley AVA
Following the sale of his family’s renowned Robert Pepi Winery in Napa Valley, Winemaker Bob Pepi establishes a successful second brand with small-lot wines and rave reviews.
Robert L. Pepi’s road to the ownership of Eponymous Wines is uniquely different from that of many other high-profile winery owners. As son and partner of the famous Napa Winemaker Robert Pepi, Robert Pepi Jr. (who prefers Bob) has a considerable wine business background that has made him a valuable winemaking consultant to numerous highly-regarded wineries including Whitehall Lane (Napa Valley), Bodega Valentin Bianchi (Argentina), Canyon Wind (Colorado), and Two Angels (Lake County).
Bob’s family has been considered among Napa Valley’s elite wine families for the past three decades, particularly in the development of high-quality Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It all started in 1966 when the Pepi family bought a Napa Valley ranch and began growing grapes there just around the time that Bob was starting college.
While Bob’s initial plan was to study Zoology, it wasn’t long before the lure of viticulture and his family’s land took hold on him, and he instead took courses at UC Davis and The Wine Lab in St. Helena. In 1980, Bob and his retired father decided to start a winery on their property, which had grown to over 70 acres of prime vineyard land. They gave it the name Robert Pepi Winery, and it proved to be incredibly successful, ultimately selling it to Kendall-Jackson in 1994.
At this point, Bob became an in-demand consultant for top wineries around the world, and he enjoyed the opportunities to work with exceptional vineyards and craft wines of which he was very proud. From time to time, Bob found vineyards that didn’t necessarily fit into his clients’ needs, but that excited him with their potential for quality wines. These vineyards became the inspiration for starting his own label in 2000, which he named Eponymous Wines.
Eponymous (pronounced Eee-pon-ah-mos), which means ‘one for whom something is believed to be named’ was selected in a playful manner. To Bob, Eponymous means ‘one who is unable to use his family name on his own bottle of wine.’
Now over twenty years since the inaugural vintage, Eponymous has become synonymous with premium quality wines, with a focus on Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Several of Bob’s wines have garnered rave reviews from the wine press, making these small-production lots even harder to get your hands on.
While his winery may be ‘nameless,’ Bob Pepi certainly continues to make a name for himself in the cleverest of ways.
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
There are many fine wine-producing areas in the world, and I have been fortunate to have made wine in some of these, but one variety that is grown as well if not better in Napa Valley than anywhere else is Cabernet Sauvignon. When I had the opportunity to enter into a long-term arrangement with an exceptional vineyard, I seized it.
The vineyard is located in the eastern hills of Napa Valley, north of the city of Napa. It is predominately a steeply terraced, very rocky site with southwesterly facing exposure. The unforgiving soils, exposure and climate combine to create a wonderful site for Cabernet Sauvignon.
My family purchased vineyards in Napa Valley over 35 years ago, and I have been making wine for almost 25 years with over 30 harvests under my belt. I was fortunate to make my own wines at Robert Pepi Winery with my father in 1994. Since 1996 I have been a consulting winemaker mainly in Napa but also in Argentina and Colorado with success and as much fulfillment as I could hope for.
Eponymous means “one for whom or which something is or is believed to be named.” My fanciful definition is “a play on words by one who is unable to use his family name on his own bottle of wine.” Salute!
Robert Pepi, Jr.