Tullio Masoni makes some of the most exclusive wine in the world, but he doesn’t want you to drink it.
At just over 18 square meters in size and a yearly yield of 29 bottles of wine, Via Mari 10 is considered the world’s smallest vineyard.
Located on the rooftop of a 16th-century palazzo in the heart of Reggio Emilia, Italy, Via Mari 10.
The town is famous for being the birthplace of the Italian national flag, and It’s also sandwiched between Parma and Modena, in a stretch of land that has given Italy some of its most well-known exports, including supercars Ferrari and culinary treats like lasagne, tortellini, Prosciutto di Parma and Ragù alla Bolognese.
Named after the name and number of the street, a notable site because in 1859 it was visited by Giuseppe Garibaldi, the revolutionary who helped unify Italy, and it is not your regular vineyard.
Not only is it incredibly small in size, it also has an extremely modest yearly yield of wine.
However, the most peculiar thing about its wine is that you’re not supposed to drink it. The owner of the vineyard considers the 29 or so bottles of wine produced every year as works of art that should be collected and admired rather than consumed.
And that’s kind of a problem, considering that you are expected to pay 5,000 euros ($5,000) for a bottle of wine you’re not even supposed to drink…..
“My wine is a form of artistic expression, a philosophical provocation, something to keep in your living room so you can chat about it with your friends and tell them about the lunatic who put a vineyard on his rooftop,” Tullio Masoni, the owner of Via Mari 10, told in an interview. “If you see a bicycle wheel in a living room rather than a repair shop, you realize how beautiful it is. My vineyard is like that: It’s unexpected; it stimulates the brain; it sparks new thoughts.”
The man created the unusual vineyard after selling his countryside vineyard he had inherited from his father.
At the time, he thought operating a vineyard wouldn’t make any financial sense, but he later regretted it, so he decided to start his own miniature vineyard atop his medieval palazzo.
The Sangiovese vines that make up Via Mari 10 are reportedly fed with eggs, bananas, seaweed and nightingale droppings, in addition to the urban noise that Tulio Masoni insists gives them an edge over countryside grape vines.
However, that doesn’t count for much, considering that you’re not supposed to drink the wine.
“I’m the only wine producer in the world who says you shouldn’t drink his wine,” he said, adding every bottle is a work of art designed to be contemplated, not consumed.
Either way, Via Mari 10 wine bottles can’t be purchased at regular wine shops or even at the producer itself. Instead, they are offered through the local Bonioni Art Gallery at a price of 5,000 euros ($5,000).
That sounds expensive for a wine bottle, but if you think of it as a collectible artwork, I guess the price starts to make sense.
It seems that 10 wine bottles are still available from latest vintage (2019), with all previous yields being sold out. However, Masoni points out that not all of them were actually bought as many were offered by the gallery as gifts to loyal clients.
And just in case you’re curious what this exclusive red wine tastes like, its producer claims that “at the first sip you get a lot of perplexity, but after a few seconds something comes alive in your palate that opens up your mind to a new dimension.
My wine does not offer tranquility, rather it traces a red vertical line inside your mind, that conveys a feeling of infinite speed.”
However, unless you have $5,000 to take your bottle, you’ll just have to take his word for it…..
Images from web – Google Research