Briar Mill Tour
Luigi Viprati has built a justifiably powerful reputation
for hand crafting some of the most breathtaking straight grains
available anywhere. Most of the credit for these superb creations
belongs to Luigi, but he'd be hard pressed to get his renown
straight grains out of anything but the finest quality briar.
No one realizes this more than Viprati who has built strong personal
relationships with the mills or "segerie" which supply
his briar, and he visits them periodically to hand select each
block of the extra-extra plateaux briar.
Recently, Viprati lengthened his usual visit by accompanying
the harvesting crew into the dry hills of Tuscany. There he saw
how the briar is wrested from the earth, and the meticulous handling
it goes through to ensure the smoking characteristics of fine
briar. We can see that the briar mill must cut and prepare blocks
which can be turned into straight grain pipes. If this first
step is not properly done, no amount of talent can straighten
out the grain.