One of the truly great aspects of visiting small family-owned wineries is that more often than not the person pouring your wine is the actual winemaker. Such is the likely case when you visit Tackitt Family Vineyards in San Miguel, California.
You'll instantly recognize co-owner (with wife, Cindy) and winemaker Leon Tackitt by his signature baseball cap, sunglasses nestled securely on top of the bill. As busy as he is tending the vineyard and making the wine, Leon enjoys taking time out to chat with visitors, getting to know them a bit and sharing his passion for wine and his special EOD project. He's a laid back kind of guy and we loved his straight forward answers to our questions....
Q: How long have you been making wine:
A: 15 Years
Q: Former occupation?
A: US Navy
Q: Why wine?
A: It’s something that brings people together.
Q: What drew you to Paso Robles wine region?
A: Family roots. Both sides of family from here, and I was born here.
Q: What do you like best about making wine?
A: It’s never the same ol’ same ol’ – there are always new challenges
Q: What do you like least about making wine?
A: The mess – ha!!
Q: What are your favorite grapes to work with?
A: Petite Sirah
Q: Where does your winemaking inspiration come from?
A: Friends who love wine.
Q: What is your greatest challenge in winemaking or the industry in general?
A: Creating that perfect bottle of wine.
Q: What would you say is unique about your style/philosophy of winemaking?
A: I try not to over engineer it. Let the grapes do their thing.
Q: What was your “aha” wine moment or bottle?
A: Actually, a bottle of Aglianico. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down what bottle it was. Just enjoyed the hell out of it.
Q: Other than your own, do you have a favorite wine?
A: If you mean winemaker, probably Adam LaZarre wines.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
A: Keep making great wine and meeting new people.
Q: What is your favorite wine region to travel to and why?
A: Currently, we don’t get out much. Have toured Germany’s wine regions. Amazing!
Q: What wine regions would you like to visit?
Q: Any other interesting info about yourself or your work you'd like to share?
A: I get asked a lot of questions on how I went from being on the bomb squad to making wine. I tell everyone, very carefully.