Visiting Savinelli USA
Wednesday of last week, I made something of a pipe pilgrimage up to the US HQ for Savinelli. I'd been chatting with Giacomo Carlesi, Savinelli's Italy-based export manager and Ruben Ysdiron, CEO of Savinelli USA, by email and phone a bit during the preceding couple of weeks and they convinced me to take the trip up to Raleigh to look at a shipment of higher end Savinelli pipes that they'd just received in the US.
This was, by far, the finest selection of Autographs, Linea Artisan, Briar Line and Milano Handmades that I've ever seen in one place. Beautifully grained briars abounded, laid out in tray after tray on their shipping tables, in anticipation of my arrival. I met Giacomo at noon and having completed the standard salutations, he asked "pipes or lunch?" Alright, anyone who knows me would know that, for me, that's a tough question. I take both pipes and lunch very seriously. But, I figured, we'd look at pipes for an hour and then head off for a bite to eat together with Ruben.
Four and a half hours later, we had moved on from pipes to lighters and Savinelli pipe pouches. Lunch had long since been forgotten amid the great bounty of briar. By the time we finally wrapped up looking through pipes, Ruben had to beg off of 'lunch' and Giacomo and I grabbed a quick bite among early dinner goers rather than the lunch crowd.
What's important, though, is that I had my single best opportunity ever to pick out pipes from the handmade, artisan end of the Savinelli range. Mostly for supply and selection reasons, we've never been terribly focused on these at Smokingpipes.com, though Savinelli is a very important brand to us. Being able to see all of these together reinforced that there's some impressive work coming from the storied Italian manufacturer. And, almost needless to say, I picked out dozens and dozens of pipes. Added to that, I picked up an order that Pam had already forwarded. My little VW Jetta has never, ever been so full. I narrowly escaped having to have pipe boxes on my lap on the way home...
While it was all a little much for us to get up all at one time, we have a huge update from Savinelli on Thursday, totalling seventy-two pipes in all, of which many Autographs, Linea Artisans, Milanos etc are featured. I think my trip up there was definitely worth it; I've never been more pleased with the selection of Savinellis we're able to offer. Check back on Thursday afternoon and have a look!