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Allegrini 2018
MOURNING

Sicilian and Italian wine salute one of its founding fathers. Farewell to Lucio Tasca d’Almerita

Pioneer and head of Tasca d’Almerita, with Diego Planeta and Giacomo Rallo he signed the Renaissance of Sicilian wine (and founded Assovini Sicilia)

The Sicilian and Italian wine worlds salute one of their founding fathers, Count Lucio Tasca d’Almerita. who has passed away, at the age of 82. He gave a huge boost to the development of the Tasca d’Almerita family winery, which his sons, Alberto and Giuseppe Tasca, who still guide it today, have brought to even higher levels. Lucio, together with Diego Planeta and Antonio Rallo was one of the great architects of the Renaissance of Sicilian wine. Further, in 1998, he foundedAssovini Sicilia, which was an innovative and far-sighted project at the time, and through which Sicily was able to build a team of producers from large and small companies, who worked together to increase quality, reputation and the Sicilian wine market.
Lucio Tasca d’Almerita was one of the first in Sicily to experiment with International varieties, in 1985, opening a path for many to follow. The original Regaleali Estate was acquired in 1830 by the two Tasca brothers. It is a green island in the center of Sicily, in the ancient County of Sclafani and over the years there have been many additions: Capofaro, in Salina, in the Aeolian archipelago; Tascante on Etna; the historic Whitaker Estate on the ancient island of Mozia; and Sallier de La Tour, in Monreale.
“Today we are in mourning”, WineNews director, Alessandro Regoli, commented, “not only for the wine of Sicily, but for all Italian wine, which has lost one of its pioneers, who had a deep-seated passion for Sicily. I like to think in this moment of pain, in which WineNews gathers around Alberto, Giuseppe and the entire Tasca family, that the triumvirate formed by Lucio Tasca d’Almerita, Giacomo Rallo and Diego Planeta has been recomposed in heaven. Together, they made profound changes in the Sicilian wine world, in terms of vision, quality image and market”. Leoluca Orlando, the former mayor of Palermo, also relayed his condolences and expressed his “great affection and closeness to the Tasca d’Almerita family in this moment of sadness and pain for the death of dear Lucio Tasca, who has become an International reference for the top Sicilian entrepreneurs” .
Count Lucio Tasca d’Almerita was multitalented. He was born in Palermo in 1940, obtained his high school diploma in classical studies in Lausanne, Switzerland, and graduated in Business and Economics from the University of Palermo. In 1960, he also participated in the Olympics in Rome in the category, “Complete equestrian competition”. In 1961, he became the entrepreneur of the Regaleali Company, subsequently transformed into Conte Tasca d’Almerita Spa Agricola. In 1979, he became aware of the potential of the most famous foreign grapes. The first Sicilian Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay were created in 1988 and 1989. In 1995, he received the “Cangrande della Scala” award. In 1997, he received the “Gran Vinitaly” International Award. Since 1998, he has been president of Conte Tasca d'Almerita SRL ​​Agricola, the family winery since 1830, which owns and manages five Estates: Regaleali, Capofaro Malvasia & Resort, Tascante, Mozia and Sallier de La Tour. Among other things, he was a founding member and director of the Italian Institute of Quality Wine “Grandi Marchi”, president of the “Associazione Grand Cru d'Italia”, as well as president, from 2002 to 2008, of Assovini Sicilia.
He was “humble and respectful and had an innate curiosity that he never lost”, reads a note from Tasca d'Almerita, “he was the first one in Sicily to believe in the potential of the territory as a producer of quality and excellence. He deeply believed in and had a strong will to increase knowledge of native varieties such as Nero d’Avola — a variety that is now famous all over the world — which opened the door to acknowledging Sicilian viticulture around the world. At the beginning of the eighties, he wanted to confront the great French varieties and participate in tastings around the world. After having convinced his father, he began making wines such as Cabernet and Chardonnay and using French oak barrels for aging, soft presses for winemaking, short pruning, thereby showing the world Sicily’s ability to produce quality and long-lived wines. Under the leadership of president Lucio Tasca, the team was the first in the wine world to introduce the use of technology in the ordinary management of the company, including wine management software to improve and control management from the vineyard to the customer shelf. His mission has always been to promote and improve the production and entrepreneurial development of Sicily, in order to strengthen competitiveness of the Region and the Country on the world market”.

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