The Super Tuscans are here!
The profound appeal of Sassicaia
From the 1980s to the 1990s, Sassicaia (Tenuta San Guido) was the leader of Italian wine as the forerunner of the Super Tuscans. Even today it shines as the pinnacle of Italian wine. Super Tuscans are an unofficial category of Bordeaux style wines made from international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon in the region of Bolgheri in Tuscany. Their flavors are comparable to those of the leading chateaux of Bordeaux, earning them the title Super Tuscans. And it all began with Sassicaia. In November 2017, Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta, the third generation torch bearer of Tenuta San Guido, came to Japan to talk about the history and appeal of Sassicaia.
Sassicaia was first conceived in 1944, during World War II. Priscilla’s grandfather Mario Incisa loved the unrivaled Bordeaux wines, but they weren’t available during the war, so he sourced Cabernet Sauvignon seedlings from Château Lafite-Rothschild and began to produce his own wine in Bolgheri. At first it was just a private wine, but word spread about its flavor, so his son Nicolò Incisa expanded the vineyard and took a keen interest in producing it. The wine was released into the world market in the late 1960s. It topped the blind tastings held by the authoritative wine magazine Decanter in 1978, and wine critic Robert Parker Jr. awarded the 1985 vintage 100 Parker Points, cementing its fame.
Today, Priscilla is the one protecting the winery with her father. The Incisa family has a history dating back 900 years, but she calls herself the “third generation.”
“My grandfather was the pioneer who created Sassicaia, and my father made it even bigger. I watched my grandfather and father work in the vineyards from when I was little. They looked more like farmers than lords. I truly admire them both.”
For a few years she studied art history at University College London, and after graduating she went back home and joined the winery.
“My father didn’t say a word about me inheriting the family business. But since I was a child, I just assumed this was the work I would do.”
Currently Priscilla is spending her days traveling around the world as a spokesperson for her family’s wine. She has an 11-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter, but smiles, “I’m making it work with the cooperation of my husband.”
“When I meet Sassicaia fans all over the world, it reminds me how great my grandfather and father were. I hope I can convey not just the appeal of the wine, but also my family history and Italian culture.”
In saying so, she conveys the grace of a marquis’ daughter and a global outlook. When asked about her dreams, she replied confidently.
“To protect the winery and pass the torch to the next generation. That is what I must do, and that is my dream.”
(Text: Kimiko Anzai)
Contact: Enoteca Tel: 0120-81-3634