Tackitt Family Vineyards
Tackitt Family Vineyards celebrated its 10 year anniversary recently with delicious wines for summer and raising $50,000 to benefit the EOD Warrior Foundation. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supports active-duty and veteran soldiers by helping and families readjust upon their return home.
In 2008, Tackitt Family Vineyards began quietly, with just 29 Gewürztraminer grapevines planted by Leon Tackitt’s grandfather a generation before. In the New Millennium, harvests from those very vines and a grandson’s tending resulted in a flagship wine that knocked the judges’ socks off in formal competition.
Along with estate grapes for his newest 2017 Gewürztraminer, Leon and his wife Cindy also grow Petite Sirah. From neighboring vineyards within a five-to-ten-mile radius, they also source the best harvests available to create winning wines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, Barbera, Tempranillo, Sauvignon Blanc, and two rosés, like their vibrant 2016 Sinfully Syrah Rosé. At Tackitt, red wines are aged at least two years in the barrel, while whites are aged for six months.
“We don’t want to grow too big,” said Leon. “We’re at about 1,700 cases now, which is fine for us.”
However, hidden within small batches are sometimes large gifts, such as donations to help support Woods Humane Society and Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles. But, wait. There’s more…
Redeeming lives, one bottle at a time
Before Leon began winemaking full-time, he made a career in the U.S. Navy, where, for 27 years, he specialized in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). His passion and commitment to winemaking is not something he’s developed to separate from that experience. Rather, he’s found ways to blend winemaking and EOD military service to conceive a most meaningful product.
Evident in symbolism and scope at the winery is Leon’s commitment to his brothers and sisters in arms, past and present – from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge insignia imprinted into the floor, to auction revenue, sponsorships and net proceeds collected from his EOD Cellars line. In 2017, Leon and Cindy’s winery raised $44,339, and then exceeded that with $50,000 raised last April to benefit the nonprofit EOD Warrior Foundation.
Among the newest to enjoy this summer is their 2017 Warrior Brosé, a bright and complex blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The release is dedicated to the memory of Commander Kevin Childre, an EOD Technician with whom Leon served in the Navy. At 35 cases produced, it’s sure to sell out fast.
“We are there to help take care of the type of needs that help veterans and their families,” said Leon, of his seven-year sponsorship. The EOD Warrior Foundation covers a broad range of topics, including memorials, scholarships, health and welfare, financial support for families, retreats for Gold Star families, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury-related needs.
“I was part of that (EOD) community for over 20 years,” said Leon. “To be able to do this is just very gratifying.”
Taste of Tuscany, June 9-10
Enjoy with Tackitt wines with Tuscan-inspired bites
Red, Wine and Blue, July 7-8
Traditional American bites, paired with Tackitt wines
Sip and swirl Tackitt Family wines in their 800 square foot tasting room and chat with the winemaker, or throw a ball outside for the winery dogs to chase. A stage area, pizza oven, bonfire area, barrel room and vast vineyard surrounds make for a relaxed and casual venue in which to entertain your friends.