Sooner than I could have imagined — and before I’d had a chance to really try out my spoken Italian – Lorenzo was back at my side, guiding me out onto the terrace. The fresh air was more than welcome. Lorenzo glanced inside, turned back to me and smiled. He grabbed me around the waist and we flew down the side stairs onto the street, back to our hotel. It was terribly bad manners to disappear without even saying good-bye to the party’s host. But Lorenzo and I had waited years to rediscover each other.
Back at the hotel, Lorenzo opened a rare, older Moscato d’Asti. It was deep golden, almost still, yet vibrant with life: the essence of musky fruits, flowers and honey. An echo of us together: profound, familiar, intensely satisfying.
We spent that night – and the whole next week – in a haze of delight. We could talk or not, smile or not, touch or not, but the whole time it felt like we were talking, smiling, touching.
During the day, breathless from climbing the steeply sloped vineyards, we gazed at landscapes that appeared medieval: fields and vineyards interspersed with stone farmsteads and villages. Now, as they had for eons, the thousand-odd small-vineyard owners were getting ready for harvest time.
I learned that moscato grapes had been grown here for centuries, but were first made into sparkling Moscato d’Asti wine only about 150 years ago. Now these white grapes were ripening on the vines, the bunches filling out on their stems, the grapes turning from opaque to clear green.
During our days in the late summer Piemontese countryside, I felt as if time had stopped, yet it continued forward. Lorenzo was a sunlit memory from a dozen years ago; Lorenzo was a luminous man standing, sitting, lying next to me.