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Allegrini 2018
WINE AND CULTURE

The wine of Leonardo da Vinci made according to the “Leonardo Method”, the method of the Genius

Leonardo da Vinci project, thanks to which the “Leonardo Da Vinci Ideal Museum” reopens and the “Leonardo Museum and the Renaissance of Wine”

“Wine, the divine liquor of grapes”: this is how, five centuries ago, Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian genius par excellence, spoke of wine, giving the grapes an almost spiritual role. A wine that, together with art, science and architecture was among his passions, to the point of studying, even then, the techniques of winemaking, as a letter of 1515 shows, to the factor of his Podere di Fiesole.
A viticultural and oenological treatise, which aspects considered granted, but at the time pioneering, such as the optimization of the quality of the grape, the fertilization of the vine with basic substances and the vinification in closed barrels. “Conciosiacosache si voi et altri faciesti senno di tali ragioni, berremmo vino excellente”, wrote Leonardo.
The technical, agronomic and oenological staff of Leonardo da Vinci Spa have adopted these guidelines to define a method that, thanks to the use of modern vine growing techniques, will make it possible to achieve Leonardo’s objective: to obtain grapes first, and therefore, wines of excellent quality. The “Leonardo Method” is an exclusive and secret viticultural and oenological specification, developed with the support of a scientific committee of oenologists and scholars, such as Alessandro Vezzosi, an important scholar of Leonardo Da Vinci, for the historical and cultural investigation, and Luca Maroni, a well-known sensory analyst who has been able to introduce the indications of Leonardo in today’s techniques. From which a line of wines has been created, which is only a part of the Leonardo da Vinci project dedicated to Leonardo, in the 500 years since his death, created by a research project started years ago and resumed in 2017, to arrive today at his first public presentation (with the national preview of the documentary “Leonardo da Vinci and wine”, and the recipes of starred chef Cristina Bowerman inspired by forms and visions of Leonardo) for the Leonardian year. “We were on the eve of Expo 2015, with Luca Maroni, a great lover of Leonardo who was revealing Leonardo’s vineyard in Milan, which was given to him by Ludovico il Moro. It was from there that they started to talk not only about the vineyard, because it is clear that those who have a vineyard produce wine, and they discovered that Leonardo was a winemaker - explains SimonPietro Felice to WineNews, Leonardo Da Vinci Spa - and the idea was to bring to light this aspect of Leonardo, still little known, to make people fall in love with Vinci, the wines and Italy. Leonardo - adds Felice - was a forerunner of his time: he studied flight 300 years before others understood how the flight of birds and machines worked, and he learned how to make a good wine. When we approach his genius we must have great respect, we are not able to go further than him, but we can draw starting point from his teachings to make a wine that he would like today, and of which Leonardo would be proud. And he would like a wine that would remember well the fruit from which it derives”.
“Leonardo’s method - explains Luca Maroni - is a succession of observations aimed at two fundamental purposes. As Leonardo wrote in his letter, the first fundamental thing is to make sure that the plant is able to extract from its own leaves the convenient substances necessary for the perfection of the bunch. And this already shows Leonardo’s extraordinary attention and sensitivity to the vitality of the vine by placing it in a healthy and independent environment. Leonardo complains that during the “fermentation, after having conducted this fermentation in open vases, all the aroma has escaped with the essence”, and this is serious damage. For this reason, Leonardo wants a whole fruit, kept intact from the oxidative point of view, he wants a clean wine, which is poured frequently. The method of Cantine Leonardo da Vinci has been to select and apply step by step in the specifications the teachings of Leonardo, and this has given rise to extraordinarily pleasant wines, in which the fragrance of the first fruit is intact, and the naturalness of the process is the common denominator that starts from the reception of the grape to its transformation”.
However, this is only part of the cultural project dedicated to Leonardo, and that, thanks to the support of the Leonardo da Vinci winery, for the reopening of the “Museo Ideale Leonardo Da Vinci” - the first museum dedicated to the complexity of Leonardo, artist, scientist, inventor and designer and to the world of Leonardism - to which has been linked the “Museo Leonardo e il Rinascimento del Vino”, a new structure built within Villa da Vinci, which will document and deepen the relationship of the Genius with agriculture and the world of wine. Two new ways to discover Leonardo, which will open to the public on May 2.
Born among the Tuscan vineyards, in Vinci, in the family farm in the countryside of Anchiano, among the passions of the greatest Italian genius, therefore, there was also the one for wine. A bond with wine that has accompanied Leonardo from his origins, when on his father Piero’s farm he cultivated a daily relationship with his production, and throughout his life, during which the Genius of the Renaissance celebrates in many of his writings and drawings this fruit of nature, a symbol of the perfect union between a product of the land and the intervention of man: it was in Milan that he realized his dream of owning his own vineyard, thanks to the donation of Ludovico il Moro, to whose court he was called to give life to masterpieces such as the Last Supper, which is just a few steps from the vineyard in the Casa Degli Atellani; in Romagna, at the service of the Valentino, Cesare Borgia made sketches and drawings such as those of a hanging bunch of grapes and, above all, the first barrique, his intuition for winemaking. Because even in wine, Leonardo was brilliant.

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