Raise your glasses of Tignanello, if you got ‘em, to Signor Tachis.
Giacomo Tachis, one of the wine world’s greatest modern contributors, died last Saturday at his home in San Casciano Val di Pesa from complications of both Parkinson’s and heart disease, reports say. He was 82.
Although Piedmontese by birth, it was in Tuscany that Tachis found his true calling. As early as the 1960s, he began working with Marchese Piero Antinori to introduce Bordeaux grape varieties—for blending with the local Sangiovese—and techniques like barrique-aging to the region. Some might call it the Frenchification of Italian wine; others may remember it as reinvigorating the then-struggling wine industry of Chianti. Whatever your view, it’s irrefutable that he fathered the category known as "Super Tuscans," raising the bar for vino italiano, and was instrumental to the development of the cherished labels Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaia. He later took his acquired knowledge and talent for blending to other regions, notably Sicily and Sardegna, where he consulted for Donnafugata and Argiolas, among others.
His legacy lives on through the wines he helped create, his daughter Ilaria Tachis of Podere La Villa, and disciples like Renzo Cotarella, who has been carrying the torch as chief winemaker for the Antinori estates since the early ’90s.
More information on Giacomo Tachis’s contributions can be read in Marchese Piero Antinori’s recently published book, Tignanello, A Tuscan Story.