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Italian wine ‘father’ Giacomo Tachis dies

Giacomo Tachis, considered one of the winemakers to have led the re-birth of Italian fine wine in the 20th century, most prominently via the new Super Tuscans, has died.

Giacomo Tachis died over the weekend, according to Italian media reports led by Gambero Rosso and Corriere Della Sera. Tributes to Tachis began to emerge on social media on Sunday (7 February).

Tachis was named Decanter Man of the Year in 2011 for his compelling contribution to Italian wine, and particularly Tuscany wine, during the 20th century.

Born in 1933 in Piedmont, Tachis ‘belongs to that small, select group who changed the course of Italian wine’, wrote Richard Baudains in the Decanter magazine feature that accompanied his award.

If Tachis can be associated with any one particular achievement, then it is most likely the development of Super Tuscan wines – pioneering the use of Cabernet Sauvignon near to the Tuscan coast.

He was responsible for producing Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaia with the Antinori family.

Marchese Piero Antinori said in 2011: ‘Giacomo Tachis was responsible for kickstarting an extraordinary period for Italian wine.’

For all his modernisaing philosophy, however, Tachis also made clear that understood the need for balance.

He was against wine becoming too reliant on technology. ‘Too often, we forget that the greatness of a wine lies in its simplicity and authenticity,’ he said.

Tachis, who studied oenology at Alba in Piedmont, also criticised a globalisation of wine styles. Despite supporting the use of Cabernet Sauvignon in Italy, he always held that terroir should be allowed to express itself.

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