The family winery is now one of the best known in Italy and can look back on a centuries-old history. The success story of owner Angelo Gaja began in the 17th century when the family emigrated from Spain to Italy. In 1859, a member of the family, a grape producer in Barbaresco, laid the foundation for the current company by opening a tavern, which also served their own wines. The wines were already so popular at the end of the 19th century that they were supplied to the Italian army, among others. Already in the second generation of the family, an unusually high value was placed on quality, with the aim of retaining a predominantly upscale clientele.
The eventful history from the beginnings to the present
After the Second World War, the grandson of the company founder took over the company and bought numerous vineyards in what is now the DOCG area of Barbaresco: with a vineyard area of 81 hectares, he was already one of the largest wine producers in the area. Since 1961, the winery has been managed in the fourth generation by Angelo Gaja, who is regarded as the innovator of Piedmontese viticulture. He was the first to remove hard tannins from his wines, giving them a refined finish. And this was by no means a regular procedure, on the contrary: at that time this action showed revolutionary features in Piedmont. At the age of over 70, the owner Angelo Gaja has now passed the company on to his two daughters, who are the fourth generation to run it.
The winery and its highlights
The absolute top product and known far beyond national borders is the classic Barbaresco, also known as the "flagship" of the winemaker. The special feature: It is made from grapes from 14 different vineyards. But the Sito Moresco, known as an entry-level wine, is also an absolute highlight and has already found numerous enthusiastic followers. Today, the winegrower can be proud of his winegrowing in Castagneto Carducci with at least 100 hectares of vineyards: the "Ca ´Marcanda" winery in the Tuscan wine-growing region of Bolgheri blends harmoniously into the landscape. He had these vineyards planted with the French grape varieties Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The first vintage was bottled here with the same perfection as in Piedmont in 2000, and this too was immediately appreciated by wine connoisseurs; as well as the following years. The wines from Ca ´Marcanda are now among the classics in the Bolgheri.
The special techniques of the winery
Not only the wines are special, the production techniques have also led to the great success of the company. Angelo Gaja got to know numerous innovations in the work in the cultivation area such as the stock density or the pruning on his trips to France. With both his oenological and the economically completely new methods, he had a significant influence on wine production throughout Italy. Like no other, he revolutionized winegrowing in Piedmont, following the example of the French. His production was characterized by the lowest yields, temperature control during fermentation and the aging of all wines in new barriques. The use of international grape varieties was also largely unknown in the Barbaresco region. In addition, he introduced quite high prices in his winery - he was convinced that an exceptionally high quality must also be reflected in the price and only then the wines can play a role on the international market. He seemed to be right: his wines are now traded as a status symbol and placed on a par with international bestsellers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild. It is thanks to Angelo Gaja, among other things, that Italian wine has regained its international reputation.
The most popular wines
The flagship is still the Barbaresco, which is made from Nebbiolo. On the other hand, small amounts of Barbera are mixed in with the well-known single site wines Sori Tildin and Costa Russi. Without exception, these fetch high prices and are now exported to numerous countries around the world. The great-grandfather's relatively small winery has now developed into a business that cultivates more than 100 hectares of vineyards in Piedmont alone and further vineyards in Tuscany.