On Saturdy 25 september 1999, during the traditional San Michele's day, the "Museo della vite e del vino" (Museum of the vines and of the wine) has been inaugurated in Carmignano. Inside the Museum, even the Federigo Melis' wines collection has been deposed, inherited by the Istituto Datini just for an expositive purpose.

Those wines (more than 800 bottles), which had been collected by Melis with great attention and passion, and put in order for territorial area and even for producers, show the wine production during the first ten-year periods of the post-war. The recognition of the Tuscan products is particularly accurate; beside them, the great Italian and foreign wines, and also a lot of less known products which the historian had been able to appreciate on his frequent travels for lecturing or visiting the archives in the different European countries.

"I am interested on wine, an inborn taste that I liked to educate, - he said - because it is a hobby which helps me to recover from the sweaty papers of the Economic history, from which I have obtained some elements for my researches, for my considerations about viticultural themes". As a matter of fact, Melis was a great expert in the agricultural typologies, the vineyard growing methods, the wine-making process, the characteristics of a large quantity of wines all over Europe.His continuously frequenting people devoted to oenogastronomy, the studying and the systematic testing of many varieties of wine, made him an authoritative sommelier.

In 1968, Italo Cosmo invited him to Siena, during the works of the IInd Week of typical and valued wines, to give an account about how to join wine to food. "The way to drink wine in the food system", the derived essay, is a good lesson which at once shows the originality of his thought, applied even on the occasions of cultured games, and an exceptional review of the viticultural production of that time.

His availability to engage in public about these themes is understandable: just some years before Italy had intoduced the controlled denomination of origin (DOC) and he was taking trouble to stimulate a more organic and incisive process of recognition of the places with their own species of vine and wines. But this was not enough: "it is necessary to form a category of person to be prepared, if not exclusively, at least with a wide employment, for this setting on the way not only of wines, but also of men, indeed".

© Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica "F. Datini"