More than a mere wine, Sassicaia is a legend: it was born from Cabernet Sauvignon when this variety was not cultivated in Tuscany. It was aged in small oak barrels a quarter century before they became fashionable; and today it is the world’s best known Italian wine. And yet it does not come from a zone with a long and noble history: it was born in the Tuscan Maremma, in the place where the cypresses of Bolgheri march in a double row from San Guido towards the hamlet, thanks to the inspired hunch of marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, a Piedmontese gentleman who, in 1943, after the armistice of September 8, 1943, found refuge in the vast estate inherited by his wife, Clarice della Gherardesca. There he decided to realize a dream that had come to him when he was a student at the University of Pisa: to produce on those rocky hillsides a wine with the same breed as the famed wines of Bordeaux, the wines preferred by the Italian aristocracy of that period. Incisa belonged to a Piedmont family with a noble viticultural history, but up until that time he had dedicated his time to the prestigious racing stables created in 1930 with Federico Tesio, Dormello-Olgiata, raising such legendary horses as Nearco and Ribot. In any case, he also knew how to create a fine wine: in 1944 he planted his first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. Then, not satisfied with the results, he planted a second one at Bolgheri in a zone called, by no means by chance, Sassicaia. To supervise the wine in the cellars, he recruited his nephew, Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, who had studied oenology at Lausanne. The first to become enthusiastic at the results was Luigi Veronelli, in an historic article on the 1968 vintage published in “Panorama” on November 14, 1974. And it was precisely that vintage which was the first to be marketed, and since then Sassicaia has gone from success to success. The choice of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc (added later) infected the entire Italian peninsula, as did the use of the barrique. It is a shame that Mario Incisa, who died at 84 years of age in 1983, leaving the direction of stables and estate to his son Niccolò, was not able to witness the final, clamorous victory of Sassicaia: the appellation with which it was rewarded in 1994 to enable the wine, finally, to roam the world as a DOC, and not as a simple “table wine”, its previous category.