Tenuta San Guido is named after the Saint Guido della Gherardesca who lived during the XI century. It is located on the Tyrrhenian coast, between Leghorn and Grosseto, in Maremma an area made famous by Italian Nobel prize winner Giosuè Carducci, and it stretches for 13 km from the sea to the hills. The Sassicaia wine, the Razza Dormello-Olgiata thoroughbred stud farm and the Bird Sanctuary Padule di Bolgheri are the three defining aspects of the vineyard. They divide the estate between the Padule on the coast, the horse’s training grounds on the plain, and the vineyards planted up to 350 meters on the hills. The latter have been given their own DOC, the DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia, the first, and so far only case in Italy of a DOC contained in one estate.
In the 1920s the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta dreamt of creating a ‘thoroughbred’ wine and for him, as for all the aristocracy of the time, the ideal was Bordeaux. In the 1940s, having settled with his wife Clarice on the Tenuta San Guido on the Tyrrhenian coast, he experimented with several French grape varieties (whose cuttings he had recovered from the estate of the Dukes Salviati in Migliarino) and concluded that the Cabernet had “the bouquet I was looking for.” A wine made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon was a fundamental change to the Tuscan and Piedmont tradition of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, respectively. The innovative decision to plant this variety at Tenuta San Guido was partly due to the similarity Mario Incisa had noted between Tuscan terrain and that of Graves in Bordeaux. “Graves”, or “gravel” in French refers to the rocky terrain which distinguishes the Bordeaux area; similarly, the gravely vineyard sites in Tuscany impart the same characteristics on Sassicaia, “stony ground”, as its cherished French brother.
In Bolgheri the 2014 vintage was unlike other wine areas as precipitation was scarce. The slow maturing of the Cabernet grapes helped the phenolic ripening producing distinctive aromas and flavours never achieved in other vintages. The winter season was quite mild with frequent rainfall while the spring started late. The heat in May favored a good budding and the summer was warm until the end of July. In the month of August the temperatures were lower than the seasonal average. The maturation therefore was slowly and gradually accomplished, although delayed. This favored aromatic extraction. The late summer rains did not harm the grapes that were monitored and cared for by the agronomists. As a result of slow maturation and favorable climatic conditions the wines appear to be harmonious with moderate alcohol content, a style that reflects the philosophy of Tenuta San Guido.