Italian Master's Vineyard Vicariously Voyages To New Milanese Home


It may not be the Mona Lisa or The Last Supper, but it's definitely making news.
This past week United Kingdom-based newspaper The Telegraph reported that a team Italian experts have identified the type of grape Leonardo da Vinci grew at his home and have planted a vineyard in Milan in honor of the great artist.
“After a decade of research including genetic testing, (researchers) now hope to be able to produce the same crisp white wine that the Renaissance genius once enjoyed from his own estate,” Rome correspondent Nick Squires wrote.
Often lost in discussions about the Italian great's many endeavors was his love of wine.
“Leonardo may be best known for his remarkable paintings, sculptures and scientific inventions, but true to his Tuscan roots he was also a keen lover of the grape,” Squires wrote.
While the grapes – identified as Malvasia di Candia – may not be the super Tuscan da Vinci was, they were worthy of a replanting in one of Italy's culture capitals. 
Researchers worked with the owners of the da Vinci property to excavate the ground where the vineyard once stood. According to Squires, they discovered a few vine roots had survived their 500-year slumber beneath the sunny ground.
“(Researchers) subjected the roots to genetic testing at the University of Milan and were able to identify the exact type of vine that Leonardo had planted,” Squires wrote. “The experts have replanted (the) vines, recreating Leonardo's original vineyard, in the garden of the palazzo in Milan's Corso Magenta.”
According to the story, the public will be able to visit the replanted vineyards this May as part of Expo 2015, the city's world fair. 
Gabriella Bechi, a representative from Italian agricultural organization Confagricoltura, told Squires the replanted vineyard is a representation of two of the country's most beloved cultural expressions.
“It's a unique way of demonstrating to the world how art and wine in Italy are closely intertwined,” Bechi said. “No other city in the world can boast the honour of having the remains of a vineyard once owned by one of the greatest geniuses in the world.”
According to the Telegraph article, the vineyard is just a short walk from the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the location at which one can find da Vinci's The Last Supper.
Research team leader Attilio Scienza said the project was like discovering long-lost riches.
“Our research started in 2004. We were able to identify the plot and the last surviving vines,” he was quoted as saying in the article. “I was amazed – to think that a treasure like this had fallen into oblivion.”

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