‘Father of Italian Wine’ Giacomo Tachis dies

The ‘father of Italian wine’, Giacomo Tachis – the oenologist who introduced the Super Tuscan to the world – has died in Italy at the age of 82.

Giacomo Tachis (Photo: Flickr)

Super Tuscan creator Giacomo Tachis is credited with inspiring a renaissance in Italian wine in the 1960s and 70s  (Photo: Flickr)

Widely credited for spearheading a renaissance in Italian wine in the 1970s and 1980s, Tachis was the oenologist behind Super Tuscan icons Sassicaia, Solaia and Tignanello, made for the Antinori family, along with San Leonardo and Turriga.

Tachis was born in Poirino, Torino, and studied at the School of Enology in Alba. He began working for the Antinori family in Tuscany in the 1960s, remaining there for 32 years, becoming the director of the historic Antinori cellars.

In the late 1960s, Tachis also began working with the Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta in Bolgheri, tasked with creating a wine capable of competing with the best of Bordeaux. The result was Sassicaia.

Credited as the first Italian winemaker to blend Sangiovese with Cabernet to create what the world now knows as the Super Tuscan, Tachis was also responsible for a number of innovations – including high-density planting, low-yields, complete control of malolactic fermentation and use of barriques for wine ageing – that inspired a revolution in Italian winemaking.

His skills as a winemaker took him from Tuscany to other regions of Italy to make wine, notably Sardinia and Sicily.

Tachis retired in April 2010, but continued to consult. In the same year he also published his autobiography, Sapore di vino.

He died in San Casciano Val di Pesa in Florence on Sunday, according to Italian news reports. He had been ill for some time.

Tributes to Tachis from wine industry figures, which began to appear on Twitter on Sunday, illustrate the esteem in which he was held:

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