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Meet Leon Tackitt of Tackitt Family Vineyards in Paso Robles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leon Tackitt.

Leon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a former Navy, EOD, which stands Explosive Ordnance Disposal. It’s your military’s bomb squad. After retiring from the Navy, we purchased a small plot of land that my grandparents owned in Paso Robles. My grandfather had planted a few Gewurztraminer vines back in the mid 70’s and they were still thriving. I started learning how to make wine from those few vines and eventually turned a new passion into the small winery we have today. We currently only produce about 1500 cases a year, which is right in our comfort zone. We have two labels at TFV. One that supports our veterans, and then our TFV label. We do many fundraising events at our vineyard, supporting the EOD Warrior Foundation.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle is the cost of owning a winery. Everything is super expensive, so if you don’t show up with a bundle of cash, you will struggle. We started with very little and have built up very slow. It’s been a great challenge. And then there are the many regulations that go along with producing alcohol in any form.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Tackitt Family Vineyards – what should we know?
We are a winery, so we produce wine. We produce most of the top varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot, Zinfandel and our favorite, Petite Sirah. Even at our petite size, we do raise a lot of money for our veterans. Our philanthropic business model has made us very popular within our small group. I personally do not know of any other vineyard that dedicates so much time to making wine directly for a non-profit foundation.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Persistence – I have always believed if you maintain your course, you will be successful in just about any endeavor.

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