It all started in 2003 when my father, Giacomo Tachis, decided to replant the old 1 1/4 hectare vineyard in front of Podere La Villa. He chose Sangiovese and Merlot grapes, following the advice of his agronomist friend Valerio Barbieri, who felt that these varietals would find their ideal home in this soil. And that's exactly what happened. Three years later in 2006 when the vines began to bear fruit (just a few sparse grape bunches), we had signs that these grapes would produce excellent results if they were cared for with passion and dedication. We weren't thinking yet of making our own wine, we had only thought to sell the grapes and make a small profit.
In 2007, however, something special and unexpected happened. Our son Riccardo was born, the first of Giacomo's two grandsons. So, we decided to celebrate the event by making our own wine with our first harvest. The wine was called Pargolo, and coincidentally the first day of the harvest, September 7, 2007, was also the day of Riccardo's birth. (Hence, the name we chose for the wine is “Pargolo”, an ancient Italian poetic term for young child, deriving from the Latin “parvulus”, meaning small.)
Our first wine, “Pargolo”, started as a very pleasant, easy to drink, typical Tuscan wine made of Sangiovese and Merlot.
The petite size of this 2 hectare vineyard explains the modest production of Pargolo, a niche wine for lovers of limited quantity, boutique wines.
Since 2008, Pargolo achieved the label status of a “Chianti Classico” DOCG wine. Thus, the black rooster, symbol of Chianti Classico, appears on the neck of the bottle.
In 2010, we came out with “Paggio”, a pure Merlot, produced in very limited quantities, which is a delightfully smooth wine, the perfect aperitif and/or accompaniment to light meals.
In 2013, the estate grew when we purchased 6 hectares (15 acres) from our neighbours. Here we cultivate Sangiovese, Merlot and a very small amount of Cabernet, Canaiolo and Colorino. It also includes the small lake and a natural spring called “La Fonte del Sette”.
All of our efforts are inspired by my father’s passion and lifetime dedication to the making of some of Italy’s best and most famous wines. We would like to continue nurturing his personal and professional legacy with our work and love for the land, and hopefully pass it on to our children and grandchildren. My father’s name is Giacomo Tachis.
The following is a beautiful portrait of my father’s work, recently written by our friend, William Nesto, wine writer and master of wine. It is also an insightful history of Tuscan and Italian wines.
"Tachis is the father of Tuscany's, if not Italy's, current enological Renaissance."
Bill Nesto, Master of Wine
Tuscany - it is a vast swath of land marked by the Mediterranean to the west and by the Apennine Range to the east. Its western wines - Bordeaux-inspired blends that are as bold and ripe as a Napa Valley Cab, yet possess the poise and persistence of the finest Left Bank Cabernet blends - startled the wine world some decades ago as it took notice of Italy and its reds. And no wonder - warm gravel soils (ideal for late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon) and elevated vineyards (that not only enjoy more sunny exposures but also cooler sites - factors that encourage fresh yet persistent and intense flavors) abound in Maremma - and in the Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC. Not to be outdone, the easterly estates of Chianti and beyond reformed by adopting a number of modern techniques, yet all in a manner that was in harmony with the best of their traditions. Their equally startling Sangiovese wines possess a freshness and power rarely displayed in the past. Today, Tuscany as a whole enjoys a status that is the equal to Bordeaux, and remains as dynamic as it first was in the late 1960s and 1970s - a hotbed of research, with a cohort of consultants that advise even the finest estates of the Left Bank. And a large measure of Tuscany's rise in stature is due to one Giacomo Tachis, whose refinements at a westerly Tuscan estate known as Tenuta San Guido served as a model for other estates.
Yet what has driven him even to this day is an almost insatiable curiosity for flavors and scents, as well as the physiology and the biochemistry behind them. The lay of the land, the composition of the soil, the microbiology involved - all of this fascinates him. His curiosity led him to Professors Emile Peynaud and Jean Ribereau-Gayon, both of Bordeaux University. From them he learned not only of the advantages afforded by the 225 liter oak barrels deployed by Bordeaux winemakers (over the chestnut casks once used by Tuscan winemakers) - barriques permit a favorable rate of oxygen absorption that promotes both the softening of tannins and the enhancing of flavors and scents. He also came to understand the prime importance of thoroughly ripe clusters, the work involved to achieve ripeness, and how a favorable terroir is key for consistently ripe fruit. Such factors were often overlooked by most Tuscan winemakers of the time, winemakers who either practiced governo (a technique whereby dried berries were fermented in the hopes of enriching the resulting wine - never mind that if one fermented under-ripe dried berries all you would find on the palate was concentrated green-and-under-ripe flavors) or blended some white wine with the red to soften the tannic and angular textures. Rather than resort to either, Giacomo Tachis encourages: crop reductions before the final harvest (though it reduces the size of the harvest, the remaining fruit often ripens before the arrival of the Autumn showers that can dilute flavors); proper trellising and shoot positioning to encourage a fuller exposure to the sun; proper rootstock and clone selection for vines that yield quality clusters rather than high yields; and a proper vineyard site so as to take full advantage of the cool maritime climate (which safeguards against over-ripe flavors and flabby textures) or the hillsides and elevations (which enjoy greater levels of sunshine) that Tuscany offers.