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Allegrini 2018

OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS, VOLUMES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT SASSICAIA. IT IS UNIVERSAL BECAUSE IT WAS CREATED WITH A UNIVERSAL FEELING: FRIENDSHIP. NICOLÒ INCISA DELLA ROCCHETTA TOLD THE STORY TO WINENEWS # VINITALY50STORY

Over the last 50 years, since it was created in 1968, volumes have been written about Sassicaia. It was an innovative wine, inconceivable at that time, and was defined the first great Italian wine to compete with the French Châteaux, the spokesman of Italian excellence in the field of viticulture, a legend, the Italian status symbol, desired by collectors around the world, loved by celebrities and heads of state. As soon as it was created, it became the wine of the future and on May 31, 2005 the satellite Foton M2 took it into space, the first bottle of wine to leave Earth. Vintage 1985 is considered one of the greatest wines ever made, all over the world, and the wine critic Robert Parker asked if “this may be the best red wine produced in the last 50 years”. It is universal. Yet, if a friendship had not led the way to its creation, it would have remained a wine intended for the family, a jealous inspiration left locked in a drawer. Mario Incisa della Rocchetta was very jealous of his projects, and it was the friendship between the winemaker Giacomo Tachis and his son Nicolò that transformed a wine meant for just a few, following a specific philosophy, but not intended to be marketed. It is a universal wine because it was created from a universal sentiment: friendship. This is the memory Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta, head of Tenuta San Guido, told WineNews, one of the most popular sites for lovers of good wine, for #Vinitaly50Story, the history of half a century of Vinitaly and Italian wine, narrated through the stories of its protagonists, celebrating the first 50 years of the international industry benchmark show (Verona, April 10 to 13; www.vinitaly.com).
This year’s Vinitaly International Award will be awarded to the memory of Giacomo Tachis, who in 1996, when Veronafiere created the award for the first 30 years of Vinitaly in recognition of individuals, companies or institutions that distinguished themselves for their commitment to the wine industry, insisted that the first award be given to his friend Nicolo Incisa della Rocchetta for Sassicaia.
Mario Incisa della Rocchetta dedicated his time to other activities and winemaking was just a hobby for him. Well before the creation of Sassicaia, he and his wife Clarice were associated with Federico Tesio, one of the most important Italian and international thoroughbred horse breeders running under the colors of Razza Dormello-Olgiata. Tesio died in 1954, and never saw what many consider the horse of the twentieth century: Ribot, the true Italian "athlete" of the century, according to a famous sport newspaper "La Gazzetta dello Sport" poll, long before great athletes like Alberto Tomba and Roberto Baggio.
In the 1920s when Mario Incisa della Rocchetta was a student at Pisa University, he dreamed of creating a purebred wine, inspired by Bordeaux. His experiments on French vines at the Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri, incredibly similar to the Graves region in France, convinced him to plant Cabernet to make a Bordeaux wine in Maremma. No one had ever thought of it before. Up until 1967, his wine was drunk only at the estate.
1968 was the turning point, when the young winemaker Giacomo Tachis, in love with the wine and its territory, as Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta recalls, was the perfect person to perfect Sassicaia and make it what it is today, and without tampering with Mario Incisa’s inspirations in this great undertaking, he used all the care and attention only a true professional would. The Marquis Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta fondly remembers Tachis’ words: “Nature and the territory make wine. Man can only influence it negatively, so he has to be very careful about what he does”. The beautiful, wild and unspoiled nature that runs from the sea to the hills in the Maremma area made famous by Carducci, is the first private Italian Wildlife Refuge, the Marsh of Bolgheri, Mario Incisa’s former hunting reserve, who decided to turn it into a refuge in the late fifties, thereby starting WWF Italy and becoming its first president.

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