Sunday, February 9, 2014

Festa Della Vendemmia, Bibi Graetz, September 2013

I've been reflecting back on 2013, which was quite an intense year. The first full business year of Vinosofia, and being my first business, it was and is quite an endevor. I feel good about it, business could have been better but I can't complain. All I can say is thanks to my wonderful friends, family and new clients, Vinosofia managed to survive a quite challenging first year, during a tough financial crisis.

What were the most memoriable experiences of 2013?

Hands down, Festa Della Vendemmia da Bibi Graetz (harvest festival at Bibi Graetz Winery)

I arrived in Italy in 2000 with hopes and dreams of experiencing something like Liv Tyler did in that movie by Bernardo Bertolucci, Stealing Beauty.
The ingredients of this ideal Italian moment would include; a golden sunset, warm weather, great wine, my husband, Tuscan countryside, a castle, candles everywhere, a classic Italian garden, sculptures, catering, live music, BBQ, and hospitality. 13 years later I finally found myself living this dream.

the name says it all

those Italian cypress lined roads

the castle from below

In all these years that I have been in Italy I have never experienced the generosity and hospitality that I did that day.
Bibi basically opened his castle to everyone. You could freely walk into all the main rooms, hang out, socialize and just enjoy the space. No rules or people telling you where you can & can't go. Enjoy basra! 
The crowd was very international about 300 total from all over the world. 
the tower of Castello di Vincigliata         

welcome aperitivo, the house white

our winery guide
inside the winery, cement vats
the famous red
This event was hosted by a man who is known for his wine, art, the Castello di Vincigliata and il Soffocone. When the name or word Soffocone is mentioned everyone smiles, especially the guys. If you want to know what it means I suggest that you go to this link and learn first hand from the man who made it. Prego
Then from the menu on the bottom select
Soffocone di Vincigliata

Then press play

stainless steel vats

classic old floors
the good stuff
Graziano & Carlo admiring the architecture
taming the lion

the Graetz Girls having fun

Bacchus our man
The Outsiders from Umbria, Tom, Luca, Graziano & Beatrice
some Saint
the boys working hard

generous portions that free flowed all night

true organization for a fantastic festa
the window where I was in the photo 
the wines of Bibi Graetz, Graziano asked to taste the Colore, which was stashed under the  table for special guests

one of my favorite architectural elements

just some of the reasons why I love Italy
enjoying the sunset
garden sculpture
the band warming up
some Tuscan olive oil
view from the south east of the castle 
There was no formal seating chart so you just sat where ever you wanted.  During dinner every so often you would get these little punches on your feet or bumps on you legs by the kids who were crawling around under the tables on a race. It was really funny. On the tables were jeroboams of Soffocone to drink with dinner.

Bibi, his Bugia &  Brenda

All the wines were available to taste too, all served by family & employees at the winery who were having fun while doing so.
The wines which I found most enjoyable were the simple Vermentino, Bugia (the lie) 100% Ansonica and Canaiolo, 100% Canaiolo. I really enjoyed the dense fruit and structure of The Canaiolo. This was confirmed when I tasted it again at the Merano Wine Festival.
It will be on the shelves of Vinosofia soon, I promise.
So here are some of the images of this wonderful memory of 2013.
Enjoy and thank you Bibi!
Florence, one of my favorite Italian cities
living room console
Graziano relaxing in the sitting room
a classic Italian sitting room
is that a real eye?
fish fountain
star light star bright over Florence that unforgettable night
oh what a night

the kids had a blast crawling under the tables

last glass of Soffocone to end a fantastic party!

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