A forgotten story ties Leonardo da Vinci to the city of Milan: the story of a vineyard. In 1498, the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, also known as 'il Moro', gave Leonardo a vineyard. Surrounding this vineyard, there are legends involving this genius, his works, and his followers. Today, the vineyard has finally been brought back to life and respects the original rows and vines.
From Lorenzo the Magnificent’s Florence, Leonardo da Vinci arrived in Milan in 1482 at the court of Ludovico. In 1495, Ludovico entrusted him with the task of painting the Last Supper in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The Last Supper became such an important piece of artwork that it earned Leonardo a gift: a vineyard of 16 rows, the perfect place to relax and unwind.
You'll be able to imagine Leonardo, at the end of a day's work, leaving the site of the Cenacolo and crossing the Borgo delle Grazie and the Atellani house, to wander through the rows of his vineyard, in the shadows of Bramante's dome.
Leonardo never stopped taking care of his vineyard: a vineyard so loved, that he never left unattended and, at his death in 1519, he even mentioned it in his will. It is a vineyard that has lived centuries and has also surpassed the upheavals of war.
But this would have lasted for just a little while: in April 1500, the French royal troops defeated and imprisoned the Moor, at which point even Leonardo left Milan.
Under the high patronage of the President of the Italian Republic and the University of Milan, the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and the team of Professor Attilio Scienza, top experts in vine genetics; Leonardo's vineyard has been brought back to life.
In 2007, research began through manual excavation of the living biological residues of the original vineyard: research that in 2015 led to the replanting of the rooted cuttings of Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, Leonardo's vineyard. On 12 September 2018, for the first time, the grapes from the vineyard were harvested. Two and a half quintals of grape juice were collected in 330 decanters, inspired by Leonardo's drawing on the Windsor codex in folio 12,690 and will be awarded in an international auction.