Terre di Toscana is finally back on stage! We were able to hug one another with joy after such a long time, and everyone, and I really mean everyone, kept saying “It’s my favorite event!” like a mantra. So many events scheduled back-to-back, and unfortunately everyone had to make choices; I chose to be there both days, and I’ll explain why in 5 points, so that you will want to do the same in the future!

POINT 1: You don’t have to think. Surely like myself you will be forced to think long and hard, weigh alternatives and make decisions all the time. This or that? Right or left? Do I do this or not? Plain or sparkling? It gets to be such a stressful struggle sometimes! Even a controlled freak like myself is more than happy to let go of the lead and allow herself to be gently drifted along, trusting in someone else’s experience. That’s the magic of this event! Everything has already been decided up front, the selection of Wineries is truly amazing so all that is left to us is to raise a glass with joy, no matter the producer!

POINT 2: It is more of a party than a fair.  The cast of Producers and organizers has been established for a very long time now, and this creates an energy, a synergy, and a very strong vibration that make the atmosphere truly electrifying and invigorating! It is so good for the heart, not so much for the liver but we’ll deal with that later! God bless detox diets! This year, more than ever, the air was filled with Friendship. This is the festival of those who love wine with passion and have devote body and soul to it for a lifetime. Even the most severe journalist and wine critic ends up relaxing here, tasting with ease without being too busy dissecting each glass. The look in their eyes and the smile on their faces gave it all away! We all had so much fun! A great little Woodstock of wine! And those old vintages were so moving I can breakdown and cry right here, right now just remembering!

POINT 3: There are so many of my favorite producers, and I’m sure of yours as well, and with most of them we have become friends! To be able to stalk them all together in one place is priceless, and you can end up doing some tasting in their company as well. Comparison is always enriching, the more we know about each other, the more we can get to know ourselves better.  It is true for everything, even for wine: getting to know different wines and territories helps to read one’s own in a wider perspective. To witness an exchange of ideas between Federico Staderini and Alessandro Mori, just to mention one, is a magic that does not happen every day! And finally, there is nothing better than having another producer suggest the next tasting.

POINT 4: It was an event in attendance with an almost normal turnout.

“It was the Terre di Toscana of liberation, of the return to life and emotions”

as stated on the official website of L’Acqua Buona, the event’s organizing machine. Although it was “painfully limited”, to use their words once again, and the spaces were larger with the addition of an extra room compared to previous editions, I had to scramble a bit in front of certain tables, as it had never happened for at least two years. I am more than ever a “social animal” as defined by Aristotle, and I need physical contact, clinking glasses, hugs, and handshakes. I feed on smiles and the light in the eyes of others, and I will never again take the noise of life for granted. I will reach the peak of joy when I can finally put away, hopefully forever, the hideous mask, the last obstacle between us and the normality we belong to.

POINT 5: The glasses were silkscreened with AB which stands for Acqua Buona, but I like to think they were my initials. I would have taken one with me if I didn’t have to continue my tour as a serial taster between Previews and other events. But sooner or later I will get one, because it is much cooler to have someone else put your initials on it instead of having to order a personalized glass yourself! In a nutshell, an event that is always memorable, where you can breathe the air of friendship, sharing and conviviality, the air that had been missing for some time, the absence of which was really beginning to make life a little too asphyxiated. Here are some pictures of the event and see you next year! Now it is time for backpacking, the road is still long for me! Stay tuned!

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