The Gaja winery was founded in the Piemonte region of northern Italy in 1859 by
Giovanni Gaja, and it has been family owned and operated for four generations in a
constantly evolving arc of inspired winemaking.
Current patriarch, Angelo Gaja, started
a revolution in the area following several trips to France, and is credited with taking
both Barbaresco and Barolo into new stylistic areas, more often than not through
controversial measures. Foremost is his use of oak barriques to soften the Nebbiolo
tannins and produce a richer, more concentrated wine than the traditional model.
Temperature-controlled fermentation, green harvest, reduction of crop size and the
introduction of French varieties have all contributed to his modernist reputation and the
soaring international praise for the Gaja wines.
Wine Spectator proclaimed his 1985
Barbarescos ‘the finest wines ever made in Italy.’ With Angelo now past 70, his
daughters Gaia and Rossana run the estate, although, it has to be said, the man
himself has never officially retired.