Prof. Luigi Manzoni (1888-1968), was born in Agordo, in the Belluno province, one of the northernmost regions of Italy.
He was the pioneer of a series of genetic experiments carried out on the vines in the early twentieth century with the aim to identify new red and white grapes that could replace and complement those already cultivated in Veneto.
He graduated in Agriculture at the University of Pisa, and was then hired by the Viticultural and Oenological Institute of Conegliano
, first as an assistant and later as Professor of Natural Sciences and Plant Pathology.
He improved the experimentation and the agrarian research on transpiration, water requirements of plants, anatomy of the vine and on the genetic improvement through crossbreeding.
In June 1933 he was nominated Principal of the Viticultural and Oenological Institute of Conegliano
where he remained until 1958 and thanks to his efforts the school was reopened right after the end of World War II when he founded the “ex-alumni Union”.
Luigi Manzoni was not only a teacher, but also a researcher and experimenter as testified by more than 70 publications among which there are his studies on the anatomy of the grapevine and on the water requirements of the plants (in cooperation with Prof. Puppo), documented by incredible microphotographs.
From 1946 to 1949, Luigi Manzoni was Mayor of Conegliano, and the city also entitled him a street.
Professor Luigi Manzoni 1888-1968
Professor Luigi Manzoni aimed to create new white and red grape varieties that could have replaced or complemented the traditional ones that at the time grew in the Piave DOC area.
The series and combinations of cross-breedings developed at the Viticultural and Oenological Institute of Conegliano were carried out in two different periods: the first set of trials between 1924 and 1930 was identified with 2 numbers (the first indicated the number of the row and the second one the number of the plant).
The second set of trials was carried out between 1930 and 1935 and was identified by three sets of numbers in which the central one was always zero. (Hence the Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13 meaning 6th row, second trial, 13th plant).
Professor Luigi Manzoni used several grapes for his experiments, and some of the combinations gave very satisfactory results. In Veneto, in the ‘40s and ‘50s, the 2.50 and 1.50 cross-breedings had a significant propagation as well as the Manzoni Bianco 6.0.13, a crossing between Rhine Riesling and Pinot Bianco, and the Manzoni Rosso 13.0.25 a crossing between Raboso Piave and Moscato d'Asburgo.
You can try the wine born from his amazing experiments here:
Cecchetto - Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13
Leo Nardin - Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13