The Cantine Leonardo da Vinci wine co-operative has invested locally by developing two museums, due to open at the beginning of May.
The Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci, in the town centre of Vinci, is set to reopen with a broader collection of exhibits showcasing Leonardo as artist, scientist, inventor and designer.
Originally home to the first wine museum in Italy opened by Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1866, the renovated space will detail Leonardo’s family tree covering 20 generations, as well as documents displayed for the first time about his mother, Caterina.
The Monna Vanna and Marble Gioconda will also have pride of place in the museum’s re-inauguration.
Up at the Villa da Vinci, the brand new Renaissance of Wine Museum documents Leonardo’s relationship with agriculture and the wine world.
The permanent exhibition begins with bronze reliefs and etchings of the Last Supper before moving on to reproductions of paintings at the Villa of Poggio a Caiano depicting Medici grape varieties. There will also be an interactive screen in English and contemporary art inspired by wine and Leonardo, such as Guido Reni’s Bacchus, Remo Salvadori’s Glasses and a poster by Andy Warhol.
It is believed that Leonardo da Vinci once owned a vineyard in Milan, which was discovered and re-planted in 2015, which now also has a museum.
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Leonardo wine range
Cantine Leonardo da Vinci wine ranges have been rebranded, which now consist of four new collections, as part of the 500th anniversary. The collections will be: Villa Da Vinci; Da Vinci I Capolavori; 1502 Da Vinci and Vitruvian Man.
‘Leonardo was a precursor of his time,’ said CEO Simon Pietro Felice, at a press conference in April.
‘He studied flight 300 years before anyone else understood how birds were able to fly, and he learnt how to make good wine 300 years before anyone else started to experiment. We can use his teachings to make a contemporary wine he would have liked and been proud of.’
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s words about winemaking in a 1515 letter to his Fiesole grape grower, Felice outlined the Leonardo Method®, which pairs healthy vineyard practices with up-to-the-minute modern winemaking techniques.
The method is based on scientific and historic research by leading Leonardo scholar Alessandro Vezzosi and Luca Maroni, a wine expert who inspired the replanting of Leonardo’s vineyard in Milan.
Helen Farrell is editor-in-chief at The Florentine, the English magazine in Florence, Italy. Find out more about the Leonardo museums here.