On the most urban slopes of the Turin hill, behind the Gran Madre di Dio Church, a benevolent and austere mirage towards which the eye tends from the most trembling heart of the city centre, there is the secluded elegance of the seventeenth-century Savoy Queen's Villa, which in 1997 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Defined as the spectacular backdrop of Turin, Villa della Regina is home to The Queen's Vineyard, the only urban vineyard in Italy to produce a single-cru, DOC-certified wine.
Wanted and designed by Prince Maurice of Savoy at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the vineyard was created as an agricultural and recreational part of the residence. Donated in 1867 by the Savoy family to the National Institute for the Daughters of the Italian Military, with the closure of the latter, the vineyard was gradually invaded by weeds that led to its disappearance from the city landscape. Moreover, hit by the Allied bombardments during the Second World War, the Villa experienced a long period of degradation that led to its almost complete collapse.
The complex environmental recovery and replanting work carried out between 2003 and 2006 by the Superintendence for the Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage of Piedmont managed to redeem the entire property, leading to the replanting of about half of the historic vineyard, together with the complete recovery of the state property and, in particular, the restoration of the Royal Apartments and the Italian Gardens, undertaken since 1994.
The laborious operation of replanting of the Royal Vineyard of Turin was entrusted to theBalbiano Winery, which took care of every aspect. A total of 2700 rooted vines, for the most part of Freisa, were replanted and arranged on a total area of almost one hectare. The results of the first harvests proved extraordinary, so much so that in 2011 the Villa della Regina vineyard was reintroduced into the DOC area of Freisa di Chieri, thus enabling it to produce the first Freisa di Chieri DOC "Vigna Villa della Regina".
A remarkable wine, thanks to its perfectly southern exposure and to its very rich and surprisingly healthy terroir: in fact, city pollution does not affect the vineyard, which is on a higher level than the urban area and far from the road, and the hives located right behind the Villa confirm this, since the bees live where the air is good.