Award-Winning Wines at Tackitt Family Vineyards, Paso Robles; a Family Tradition

In the 1970s, Leon Tackitt’s grandfather brought 29 Gewürztraminer vines back from Germany and planted them on his Paso Robles property. Over the years, he kept his craft to home winemaking, but the grapes adapted well to the area and flourished.

With retirement from a 28-year career in the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), coming into view, Leon and his wife Cindy dreamed of making their own wine from the modest family vineyard. In the fall of 2007, Cindy and Leon decided to take what his grandfather had planted to the next level, and Tackitt Family Vineyards began.

That September they had their first crush, using only the most basic equipment: a wine press borrowed from our friend, Mike Curran, and a 55-gallon plastic drum that Leon’s grandparents had used for primary fermentation. With the invaluable help of family (but having no idea what they were doing!), they picked grapes, destemming the clusters by hand, and crushing the grapes as we went. It was exhausting work, and they were forced to leave a large majority of the vineyard’s grapes hanging on the vines. For their first year, they only produced about 30 gallons of grape juice.

In 2009, cloning his grandfather’s vines, Leon planted an acre of Gewurztraminer on the west side of the property, as well as an acre of Petite Sirah on the east side. You can see both of these vineyards during your visit, and pay homage the original Gewurztraminer vines that started it all!  Now, the Tackitt Family Vineyards produces over 1000 gallons of juice on their own property, and purchases additional grapes from just over the hill (within the same Paso Robles Estrella AVA) to make a variety of award-winning wines. All of the grape pressing, wine barreling, and bottling is done right on the estate; if you happen to visit on a bottling weekend, you can come watch (or help!).  Our brand-new tasting room features bar stools and purse hooks (really!), and we invite you to come visit and enjoy tasting the fruits of our labor. 

Since they started, they have dealt with the common dilemmas that face every winery: birds, mildew, insects, and human error. Every challenge adds to the experience and increasing knowledge of the art of winemaking, and we are now producing some exceptional wines. Leon and Cindy have dedicated the last ten years to building a family-friendly, boutique winery, and we look forward to sharing our love of wine with you and wines you will love!