In the 1920s, a student in Pisa, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta dreamed of creating a pedigree wine. His ideal, as for the aristocracy of the time, was Bordeaux.
This is how he describes it in a letter to Veronelli dated 6/11/1974.
”…the origin of the experiment dates back to the years between 1921 and 1925, when, as a student in Pisa and often a guest of the Salviati Dukes in Migliarino, I had drunk a wine produced from one of their vineyards on Mount Vecchiano which had the same unmistakable “bouquet” of an old Bordeaux that I just tasted rather than drank (because at the age of 14 I wasn't allowed to drink wine) before 1915, at my grandfather Chigi's house.”
Having settled with his wife Clarice in the San Guido estate on the Tyrrhenian coast, he experimented with some French vines (whose cuttings he had recovered from the estate of the Salviati Dukes in Migliarino, and not from France) and concluded that the Cabernet had "the bouquet I was looking for".
No one had ever thought of making a "Bordeaux" wine in Maremma, an unknown area from a wine point of view.
The decision to plant this variety in Tenuta San Guido was partly due to the similarity he had noticed between this area of ??Tuscany and Graves, in Bordeaux. Graves means gravel, due to the stony ground that distinguishes the area, just as Sassicaia, in Tuscany, names an area with the same characteristics.
From 1948 to 1967, Sassicaia remained a strictly private domain, and was drunk only on the estate.
Every year, a few boxes were left to age in the Castiglioncello cellar.
The marquis soon realized that the wine improved considerably with age. As often happens with wines of great standing, those which were previously considered faults, over time turned into virtues.
Now friends and family were inciting Mario Incisa to further his experiments and perfect his revolutionary winemaking style for that area.
The 1968 vintage was the first to be put on the market, with a welcome worthy of a Bordeaux Premier Cru.
In the following years the cellar was moved to temperature-controlled premises, steel vats replaced the wooden vats for fermentation, and French barriques were introduced for ageing.