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Which of the famous people below was offered a vineyard as payment for a service he rendered?

A. The Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci

B. The Italian explorer Christopher Columbus

C. The Roman poet Virgil

D. The French writer Voltaire

A.

The artist/scientist/inventor Leonardo da Vinci was a great lover of wine. In 1498, he accepted a small vineyard from Ludivoco Sforza, the Duke of Milan, as payment for “The Last Supper” which da Vinci painted for the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. (The vineyard was destroyed by a fire that resulted from bombing during World War II). And what grapes grew in da Vinci’s vineyard?  In 2009, Italian viticulturists and geneticists excavated the site, and based on the DNA of extant roots, determined that it was malvasia di candia, an aromatic white variety, which of course is still grown in Italy today.

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