Generosity. Sometimes it comes from the most surprising places, including a man I once met in a local cafe and then wrote a column about.

The column was about the Italian wines that his company makes and sells. It’s a big company and he was with a group of Italians who once visited New Zealand often to promote and sell their wines, which are made all over Italy and which sell all over the world. It’s a big brand with small price tags, so it’s affordable and well known. It’s called Farnese.

Did the column help to sell them some wine? Did it make them feel their trip to New Zealand (all the way from Italy) was worthwhile? Or did it tickle their fancy that their philosophy – to make affordable wines that express something of the Italian flavour – was understood by a stranger from a relatively small wine market?

Fast forward eight years and every year they still send me a beautiful present. Amazing. I haven’t written a word about them for at least the past four years but their generosity continues every year. It’s powerful. The product they send me each year now has organic certification, is packaged in a lighter bottle and sealed with a screw cap rather than with a cork. It’s not wine. It’s olive oil from one of their wine estates.

The power of their kindness is more impactful than any press release, follow up phone call or hard sell could ever be.

I am always taken aback and never expect to receive another bottle. This year it took a while to find me since I have relocated cities but the impact was – yet again –  a reminder of the power of generosity.

I have another Italian blog on its way soon too… and that’s another story – one of a big, bold, ground breakingly maverick Italian wine. Watch this space.

Thank you to the Farnese Vini and to Valentino Sciotti, who is an owner, director and a generous man.

 

PS: This is not a column about how nice it is to receive things nor is it about my surprise at remaining on somebody’s PR list of journalists to send things to. It is about the power of kindness. Something we all underestimate and that I wanted to comment on.