I recently received an invitation from Patti Peregrine to visit her quarter region holding at Serena Pirates Wells, called Vecchi Amici (“Old Friends”) Winery. As I’m familiar with Patti’s work from her time at Hestium I where she worked with my friend Boudicca Amat (and which you can read about here), I made it a point to hop across to take a look as soon as time allowed.
Currently featured as at Editor’s Pick in the Destination Guide Vecchi Amici is a simply done but delightfully eye-catching corner of Tuscany brought to life in Second Life by someone with an eye for layout and ambience. And for those who enjoy their wine (/me moves her glass out of sight), it is just the spot to while away an afternoon.
Located atop a gentle slope on the north-east side of the region, Vecchi Amici presents a small, active vineyard before which sit a little orchard (so is cider also produced here?). A path meanders through a little grove of trees, passing the vines on one side and a large pond on the other, as it winds its way up to a converted villa.
Fronted by a low stone wall and a line of fir trees and with walled gardens shouldering it on either side, the villa offers visitors a comfortable place to sit and relax, with a small café area to one side of its large, single room and comfortable chairs and sofa on the other. Outside, water splashes in a fountain, and a bench seat is shaded by a young maple tree. A small terrace to one side of the villa offers a swing seat and access to one of the walled gardens, where butterflies weave patterns over the flowers and wooden benches offer further places to sit. The garden to the other side of the villa offers another pleasing mix of flowers, benches, butterflies and – for the hungry – a little afternoon tea set out on a dainty table.
Those with a taste for wine may well be waylaid on their way up the villa by opportunities to sample the local produce either from the bottle or – if it is ready – straight from the tap of an ageing barrel. Just across the path, the pond offers a little retreat where samples can be enjoyed while watching the local swans and dear.
Small and simple it might first appear, but there is an elegance to Vecchi Amici which more than lives up to its name; a visit is like a return to a familiar old friend of a place; there’s a refined, aged fell to the villa, and the setting lends itself to photography. Should you enjoy your visit, do please consider a donation towards the vineyard’s continued presence in Second Life.
- Vecchi Amici (Serena Pirate Wells; rated: Moderate)