Gabriele Tacconi Ruffino Winemaker
Gabriele Tacconi's approach to winemaking is rooted in one key principle: to respect the signature Ruffino style, carefully developed over the past 137 years. He explains, “The true style adopted here is the Ruffino style, one steeped in tradition, elegance and drinkability, and developed over time. It's a style that I, and my team, treat with great respect.”
Gabriele always knew his life's work would involve wine. After earning a degree in enology from the University of Milan, Gabriele traveled to Montpellier, France, to work at the Institut Cooperatif du Vin. He returned to Italy and went on to hold a chief winemaker position before joining Ruffino in 1998 to pursue his passion for Tuscan wines and the heritage of Tuscany.
Gabriele spent his first 11 years at Ruffino honing his craft as assistant winemaker and learning the nuances of Tuscan vineyards and viticulture. In 2009, he ascended to chief winemaker for Ruffino and now handles production of all wines, including the venerable Riserva Ducale, Riserva Ducale Oro and Modus.
“I feel great passion and love for the Tuscan landscape, its history, and the high quality of wines that are made here,” Gabriele says. “Everyone at Ruffino is proud to represent the unmistakable Ruffino style of elegant wines known around the world. We all strive to carry on the high standards that have been set in the past.”
Gabriele lives in Molin del Piano, Tuscany with his American-born wife Tasha. In his free time, he enjoys making the balsamic vinegar famous in his native Modena, and he also loves cooking homemade tagliatelle with ragù. Besides basking in the beauty of Tuscany, Gabriele has a passion for off-road motorcycles and the African desert.
Beppe d'Andrea Global Ambassador
Beppe d'Andrea embodies the Italian way of life that blends a love of wine with passion for food. Beppe began his wine industry career in the early 1980s as a cellar master for several Italian wineries. Soon after, he became involved with the Slow Food movement for the Chianti Classico region, a chapter of the global grassroots organization that promotes and protects the heritage, traditions and culture of food.
In 1987, he began his career with Ruffino and has never looked back. Initially working in the vineyards, he soon joined the winemaking team. During his first season in the cellar, Beppe made white wines and later, as cellar master, he made Ruffino's Chianti Classicos and other red wines. In 1989, Beppe earned the AIS Professional Sommelier certification. In 1995, Beppe, a dynamic storyteller and enthusiast spokesperson for Ruffino and Tuscany, was tapped to be Ruffino's Brand Ambassador.
Today, as Senior Global Brand Ambassador for Ruffino, he hosts visitors from around the world when they come to visit Ruffino's estates in Tuscany. He also travels outside Italy to bring Ruffino wines and the Ruffino story to wine lovers around the world.
In his spare time, Beppe enjoys playing for Cus Firenze Rugby I Ribolliti, a local rugby team. He also loves to cook. Beppe has a passion for fresh seafood, homemade pasta and pizza, and now he is fine-tuning polpetta (a type of meatball) made with extra virgin olive oil and a pistachio crust. He also enjoys riding his motorcycle through the Tuscan hills and otherwise enjoying la bella vita Toscana.