San Guido (Sassicaia)
Just south of Livorno, Tuscany, lies the Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC, and the Tenuta San Guido estate, where Sassicia is produced. The estate was originally owned by Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta, and has been managed since WWII by his son, Niccolo. A true pioneer in the Italian wine industry, his experimenting with the introduction of non-native varieties to Italy, resulted in the world-famous Sassicaia. In Italian, Sassicaia means "the place of many stones" and is used as the proprietary name for the estate's Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The vines of the Sassicaia vineyard were originally planted with cuttings from the prestigious Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. The wines of Sassicaia were so instrumental in creating the "Super-Tuscan" sensation that in 1994, the Italian government granted Sassicaia its own DOC status in a sub-zone of the Bolgheri DOC. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats, and the wines are then aged in French oak barrique for 18 to 24 months prior to release. Sassicaia produces a second label called Guidalberto, and recently released a third wine, Le Difese that is virtually unavailable in the U.S.