The history of Tenuta San Leonardo dates back at least fifteen hundred years, to the days when a group of prisoners from Trentino, held by the Lombard duchy, came home after their release at the intercession of Queen Theodolinda and Bishop Agnellus. The men had spent a period of confinement in France after their capture by the Frankish army. On their release, the former captives decided to give thanks to the patron saint of prisoners, Saint Leonard, by erecting a chapel.
The earliest evidence of the estate itself dates from the ninth century of the Christian era, when Nottingus, the bishop of Verona, granted in usufruct to the bishop of Trento the woodlands, meadows and vineyards he owned at Sarnis in Vallagarina. Three centuries later, the Fratres Cruciferi, an order with adherents all over Europe and which remained at San Leonardo until 1656, expanded grape growing and adopted a modern approach to viticulture at their monastery. Today, the Romanesque apse survives, with its hanging arches on the outside Read more »