Before the 1500s, no one had ever written about viticulture and oenology with as much technical competence, precision and scruple as Leonardo da Vinci. In fact, this skilled man of universal talent was a true pioneer in the field of wine. It could be said that, even in the field of oenology, Leonardo was so innovative that he was not understood by his contemporaries. Let’s discover why.
The letter to the farmer of 1515
After more than 5 centuries, expert scholars of Leonardo, such as Professor Luca Maroni and Professor Alessandro Vezzosi, have discovered extraordinary qualitative observations contained in a famous letter dated 1515 which was sent by Leonardo to his farmer Zanobi Boni in Fiesole (the document was published in the volume “The life of Leonardo da Vinci” by John William Brown, published in London in 1828).
In this letter, Leonardo complains about the quality of the wine he has received, writing: “the last four jugs were not according to my expectations, and I regret this”; he then goes on to provide precise technical indications to his oenologist, which not only reveal Leonardo’s passion for wine, but also the modernity of his intuitions.
“The last four carafes of wine were not what I expected and I was very sorry. The vines of Fiesole, cultivated in the best way, should give Italy an excellent wine, like that of Ser Ottaviano. You know that I have already said that the rows should be fertilized with rubble of old demolished walls that dry the roots and the stems, so the leaves attract all the substances useful for the perfection of the bunch. In addition, nowadays we do the worst thing: we ferment the wine in open jars and so the essence is dispersed in the air and nothing remains but a tasteless liquid colored by the skins and pulp; and then the decanting is not done properly and for this reason cloudy wine which is heavy on the stomach comes out. So, if you and the others accepted these arguments we would drink an excellent wine. May the Lord accompany us and keep you.”
Leonardo da Vinci
This is undoubtedly the first oenological writing with a still current technical content, aimed at optimizing the cultivation of grapes and its transformation. From here, Leonardo da Vinci Spa began to recover scientific research in a technical and cultural project to rediscover Leonardo’s winemaking method and its reuse. This method is used today to produce the excellent wines to which Leonardo aspired.
What is the Metodo Leonardo®?
Metodo Leonardo® is an in-depth body of research work that draws its inspiration from Leonardo’s studies on enology. Leonardo intuited the way to obtain quality wines through a meticulous observation of all the natural phenomena that lead to the full ripeness of the fruit of the vine, and through the invention of tools and techniques to optimize the transformation of grapes into wine.
The Metodo Leonardo® therefore represents the formalization of the production protocol – exclusive and confidential – used for the wines of all the Leonardo da Vinci collections. It defines in detail specific quantitative-qualitative parameters that the wines inspired by the Genius must respect in order to be included in the production of the Leonardo da Vinci brand and have the wording “Metodo Leonardo®” on the label. This is not a static and definitive viticultural and oenological treatise: in line with Leonardo’s creative and visionary approach, who would have continued his research and intuited further developments, Metodo is constantly evolving and being perfected, thanks to the dedication and competence of the wine makers of our company.
What does Metodo Leonardo® consist of?
Here is a summary of the specific production protocols of each of the main stages of obtaining a wine through the Metodo Leonardo®:
- specific protocol for the phase of CULTIVATION OF THE VINEYARD, relating to natural soil fertilization techniques, the nutrition system of the vine and the characteristics of exposure and aeration of the leaves and the bunch of grapes
- specific protocol for the HARVEST PHASE, relating to the level of ripeness, the degree of acidity and the sugar level of the grapes
- specific protocol for the VINIFICATION PHASE, relating to the processes of crushing, de-stemming, clarification of must, fermentation and racking
- specific protocol for the PHASE OF REFINING AND STORAGE OF THE WINE, relating to the techniques of decanting, evolution and filtration of wines
- specific protocol for the BOTTLING PHASE, relating to the final verification of the wine, which consists in the measurement of parameters such as: free sulfur dioxide, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and PH
Metodo Leonardo® guarantees excellent wine quality
For each of the aforementioned production phases, our company has developed its own know-how and has established proprietary, exclusive and confidential techniques, products and procedures. Periodically, our expert depositories of the Metodo Leonardo® train technicians and agronomists to put into practice the instructions for producing excellent wines.
In addition, a document (a sort of vademecum) is drawn up every year which contains the technical indications to be followed and defines the guidelines for constant monitoring of all stages of winemaking, starting from the vineyard up to the moment of bottling, to ensure the highest level of quality of the final product.
In this sense, Metodo Leonardo® has guaranteed the quality of Leonardo da Vinci wines since its origin, guaranteeing the final consumer an Italian product of excellence.