November 4, 2016 – In the late 15th Century, the Duke of Milan was so pleased with Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco of The Last Supper in hall of the Dominican monastery adjacent to Santa Maria delle Grazie church, that he gave the artist a small vineyard nearby. When Leonardo died, this was the only property in his will which he divided between his pupil and servant, Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno nicknamed “Salai,” and his valet, Giovanbattista Villani.
A report on Fox News outlined the little known history of the vineyard through the centuries to 2015. At some point along the way, the vineyard had disappeared and a bocce court was built where the vines once flourished. In 2008, a team of archeologists from the University of Milan conducted a dig and found fossils of the original vines. DNA testing matched them closely with the white wine grape Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, according to the report.