RS margreid ansitz loewengang aelteste weinrebe
RS margreid ansitz loewengang aelteste weinrebe

Ancient domestic vine of Magrè

The oldest dated vine of Europe, which today climbs up a façade in Magrè on the Wine Road, was planted in 1601 AD

Besides the Weeping Stone of Niclara, the municipality of Magrè on the Wine Road (Margreid) offers a further natural monument: the ancient vine, which grows on the outer façade of the Augustin Residence in the Vicolo dei Conti alley. It is known as the oldest dated vine of Europe: In October 1601, a grape scion was grafted until it produced enough roots. Then it was separated from the mother plant and planted at its final place of destination.

Presumably a Domenig de Valentini was tenant of the estate back then. In those days, a vine - a symbol of fertility and perpetual renewal - was planted on a particular occasion: a wedding, the birth of the heir, a new construction or a farm handover. On a marble corbel, a stonemason noted down the German and Ladin name of the planting as an shorthand symbol. Today you can admire it next to the ancient vine (Urrebe, in German - Vite Centenaria, in Italian).

If only this vine could talk, it would fill a series of books with its story, starting with the Thirty Years’ War and the Tyrolean freedom fights, when in 1796 the Schützen faced the French troops under Napoleon, to the modern times, when the domestic vine was in danger due to cable laying and the lining of the Rio Magrè brook. Thanks to the commitment of local nature conservation authorities, the ancient domestic vine of Magrè still grows on its original place and bears fruit. By the way: You can admire a similar natural monument at Katzenzungen Castle in Prissiano near Tesimo in the area of Merano and surroundings, where the 350 year old Versoaln vine is located. Its leaf canopy encompasses more than 300 sqm, making it the largest vine throughout Europe.

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