A forgotten story links Leonardo da Vinci to the city of Milan: the story of the Leonardo's Vineyard. The vineyard that in 1498 Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan, gave Leonardo as a gift and that today comes againto life, finally, in respect of the original rows and vine.
From Lorenzo il Magnifico's Florence, Leonardo da Vinci arrives in Milan at the court of Ludovico Maria Sforza, known as il Moro. And it was Ludovico, who in 1495 assigned him the task of painting a Last Supper in the refectory of the Dominican friars and who in 1498 granted Leonardo the ownership of a vineyard of about 16 poles (about one hectare of land). Leonardo, at the end of a day's work at the Cenacolo shipyard, crosses the Borgo delle Grazie and the Atellani house, to walk among the rows of his vineyard. In April 1500 the troops of the King of France defeated and imprisoned the Moor and Leonardo also left Milan. However, he never stopped looking after his vineyard, even far away: he regained it when the French confiscated it from him and, at his deathbed, in 1519, cited it in his will, leaving part of it to his favourite pupil Gian Giacomo Caprotti, the Salaì.
In the shadow of the dome of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the very heart of the village dreamed of by the Moor for his court, Leonardo's Vineyard grows again luxuriant thanks to Fondazione Portaluppi and to the present owners of Casa degli Atellani, and thanks to the scientific project of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences in Milan. Digging into the site identified by Luca Beltrami the rows still existing a century ago have been found and brought to light; thanks to the scientific investigations conducted by the geneticist Serena Imazio and by professor Attilio Scienza, one of the most important experts on the DNA of the vine, has been identified as the vine cultivated in the Renaissance. At the end of the garden of the Casa degli Atellani, Leonardo da Vinci cultivated Malvasia di Candia aromatica. Following Leonardo's footsteps, in the very place of his vineyard, in 2015 the experts of the University replanted the rooted vines of Malvasia. Now these have given their first golden fruits. The first harvest took place in September 2018. More than two and a half quintals of Malvasia grapes were harvested and then left to ferment in a peel form inside an ancient terracotta amphora, according to a traditional winemaking process carried out in Lomellina, the historic Sforza land. Five centuries after his death, the first bottles of Leonardo's wine, grown in the beloved vineyard that the Moro gave to the most precious of his courtiers, will be produced.