Questions/ Comments?

Villa Sampaguita is the home of Rina Vargas and Tim Brewer.

Tim was originally from Africa (South Africa & Kenya) and has lived all over the world including California where he planted his first vineyard before moving to Asia in 1984 (Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia), first pioneering setting up satellite-television stations, then marketing satellites and related business ventures, eventually ending his satellite career in Moscow as consultant for the Russian Satellite Organization.

Rina was originally from Bicol in the Philippines (renown for its beautiful ladies!), we met in Manila and started a business running a restaurant and a hotel on a motor yacht anchored off Boracay Island, one of the world's premiere paradise locations (featured on Windows 2000 "Paradise" wall paper).

In 1996 we moved to London from Moscow and lived in Hampstead and Totteridge. Three years later Tim's work moved him in to Taiwan, and after spending a a year in Taipei, we decided to change our lives and move to Northern Italy to find a vineyard property which we could convert into a small hotel.

Why Italy? We had friends in Piedmont and when we visited we fell in love with the ambience, the climate, the lifestyle and the perfect location, not to mention some of the best wines and foods in the world.

We arrived on Easter of 2001, and spend three months searching for the ideal place for us to convert into our dream. It was quite an experience and one day we will write a book. We looked over 25 properties, some of which we fell in love with, but always something came up, either the price wasn't right, the location wasn't suitable, the vines were sick, the reconstruction was too difficult, the neighbours wanted to claim part of the land and so on and so forth. Some notable places included an old convent complete with chapel, bell tower and crypt; a landmark castle vineyard with a 300 year old manor house, an old stone mill and an entire valley of vines.

Finally we came across Cascina Barone at Bricco Cravera, which had virtually everything we were looking for to create a really special place for people to come and stay and explore this wonderful part of the world.

We have renamed the property Villa Sampaguita after the national flower of the Philippines, and we have planted some of these vines to remind us of Asia.

We opened for guests in 2003 and both the response and the numbers of new friends we have made have more then justified our decision to move here.

In 2009 we were blessed with the birth of Rina's grandaughter HARRIET who works with us in the baby and young children's entertainment department.

And how can we not mention Mr Bean, our very friendly cat, who came with us from England and serves as a substitute for cat-lovers missing their pets at home.

Site Design by Erin Brewer

(Click to enlarge photos)
Tim & Rina
Sampaguita Flower
Our baby hostess
Tim checks harvest
Welcome from Mr Bean