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Winemaker Spotlight: Leon Tackitt, Tackitt Family Vineyards & EOD Cellars

This special edition of Winemaker spotlight is going to highlight not only one of my personal favorite winemakers but also one of my genuinely favorite people that I have had the pleasure of crossing paths with. He is down to earth, humble, and the words “rock on” instantly come to mind every time I hear his name. Instantly recognizable by his signature baseball cap with sunglasses nestled on the bill, Leon Tackitt of Tackitt Family Vineyards along with his wife (and better half) Cindy, are absolutely crushing the wine business.

Even more incredibly so, in between all the award-winning wine making, Cindy and Leon never hold back on their MANY avenues of fundraising for EOD Warrior Foundation and our furry friends through wine4paws and Woods Humane Society.

Leon is a 27-year Navy veteran, working in anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, radar and sonar operator in H2 Helicopters and finally EOD, aka he’s pretty BADASS. As if that wasn’t enough, he is now a member of the Board of Directors for the EOD Warrior Foundation and dedicates an entire line of his wine along with A TON of his time towards the support of fellow EOD members and their families.

Tackitt Family Vineyards handcrafted, premium wines are created using old-style techniques in small lots to ensure the highest quality. Their signature wines include a Gewürztraminer that is made slightly drier with more fruit intensity and complements a wide variety of cuisines, and a full-bodied Petite Sirah that continues to excite the judges with many awards. They also produce a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, a unique Bordeaux-style Blend, a classic Cabernet Sauvignon, an intense but smooth Zinfandel, and a well-rounded Merlot. In addition to these great wines, and you don’t want to miss their solera-aged dessert wine made from Late Harvest Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.

Tackitt Family Vineyards also brings us EOD Cellars, a special selection of wines created to honor and support the men, women, and families of our Armed Services. EOD Cellars wines are specially bottled and sold to support the EOD Warrior Foundation, with 100% of the net proceeds from purchases going to this foundation.

Some of Tackitt Family Vineyards most recent award-winning wines include the 2022 Gweurztraminer winning Gold in the 2023 Monterey International Wine Competition as well as being awarded “Best Gewurztraminer” and the 2020 Vintner’s Reserve Zinfandel that won a Gold Medal with 90 points at the San Diego International Wine Challenge.

Sit back and let this wine take you on an adventure. It first meanders through a bramble berry patch with raspberries and blackberries. It takes a turn towards fresh florals and spice, then picks up an alluring aroma of oak and herbs along the way. It’s last stop is an easy yet memorable finish with medium tannins, light acidity and a supple mouthfeel.

Green apples and a whiff of pineapple in your glass, this wine has a delicate acidity with a crisp, earthy mouthfeel. Enjoy this cold on a hot summer day with grilled seafood or pair with your favorite spicy Asian dish.

Some notable favorites:

2022 Viognier - a lush wine with soft characters, this Viognier will whisk you away with sweet aromas of peach, pears, honeysuckle, and violets. With a slight minerality on the palate, hints of stone fruits and a light creaminess that coats the tongue. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this refreshing and clarifying wine with your favorite fish or white meats!

2020 Petite Sirah - This wine is an absolute showstopper. Warm, jammy plum along with fresh basil meld into savory and smokey scents on the nose. It’s first sip is full of dark chocolate and white pepper notes and is brimming with dense tannins. It’s color is decadent and luscious, with a lingering and intense finish. Fire up the BBQ and pair with a nice ribeye steak or for our vegetarian friends try it with polenta with sautéed mushrooms or eggplant parmesan.

2022 Sparkling Rosé - You know we love our bubbles! Bright pink color, crisp acidity with hints of red fruits, strawberries and a slight hint of pomegranate culminate to a smooth, yet slightly tart finish. Pop the cork on a bottle and celebrate by sharing a toast among friends!

Needless to say, if you haven't had the pleasure of gracing your taste buds with some of Tackitt Family Vineyards wines, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! We ALWAYS have Leon's wine in stock so come on by and try a glass or dive head first into a bottle, we have (almost) his entire lineup!

Already a fan? Join Tackitt Family Vineyards wine club and get bottles of his incredible wine sent right to your door all year long!


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