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Giant of Italian wine, Giacomo Tachis, dies at 82

Published:  08 February, 2016

Italian wine legend Giacomo Tachis has died at the age of 82. He had been ill for some time.

Tachis is widely credited with establishing the credibility of the Italian wine industry in the modern era.

Born in 1934 in Poirino outside Turin, he found his vocation as a student at Alba's oenology school in the early 1950s.

He worked for Antinori from 1961 to 1993, rising to the position of technical director.

However, it is for his consultancy work outside Antinori that he is best known.

Tachis created the 'super Tuscan' Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaia wines and the Tenuta San Leonardo in Trentino.

He re-invigorated winemaking across Italy, driving exponential improvements in quality through high density, low yield planting and the use of barriques, among other techniques.

His impact was perhaps most felt in the south. In Sardinia, he established Turriga and Terre Brune, and in Sicily he was a longstanding consultant to the island's Istituto Regionale della Vite e del Vino.

Tachis died on his Tuscan estate in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, with his daughter Ilaria and oenologist Alessandro Cellai at his bedside.

News of his death was announced on Twitter by Paolo Panerai, owner of the Domini Castellare di Castellina winery.

"Italian wine has lost its prophet," Panerai wrote.

Tachis' funeral will be held today in the Church of Santa Maria ad Argiano in San Casciano Val di Pesa.