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Among many of his novelty Archduke John, who was born on the 20th January 1782 in the palace Pitti in Florence, also carefully cultivated his love of wine growing.

As the centre for his trial introduction of vines from the Rhineland region he chose slopes in the surroundings of Pekre and Limbuš, where in 1822 he purchased an estate that today, is known as Meranovo. In the year 1823 new vines were planted in Pekre and the great success of that trial was schown already at the first grape harvest in 1826, wich Archduke Johannes personally attended. After that he also freqently resided at there. The vineyards became so reputable and well known that in 1832 a viticultural school was established at Meranovo, to which a fund for awarding vinedressers was later incorporated.


Archduke Johannes died in Graz an the 11th May 1859 and was buried there. Ten years later his remains were transferred and buried at the castle in Shenna in South Tyrol, today in Italy. South Styria paid homage to Johannes memory in 1883 when a memorial was erected in Maribor. The memorial vas remowed from Maribor’s town park in 1918 and it now housed in the Regional museum. However, a copy of his memorial today adorns Meranovo.