“Lastly, it is impossible to measure the enormous influence of two wine producers, Piedmont’s Angelo Gaja and Tuscany’s Piero Antinori. Both men have long pursued the road less travelled – the path of quality, innovation, and courageous experimentation. They are an inspiration to all of those who care about the quality of wines we consume” – Robert Parker
Gaja is widely considered one of the world’s most respected wine producers. Founded in 1859 in Piedmont the family’s impact on wine production is to be celebrated. In 1937 when Giovanni Gaja took over management of the estate he was instrumental in changing the labels of the Piedmont wines presenting the famous Gaja name first and foremost on the label, something at the time considered highly controversial,
Continuing the innovation Angelo Gaja took over the family business in 1970. He said “The challenge was to maintain the basic power and depth of Nebbiolo while polishing the wines to give them richer colour, fuller fruit, better balance and a more refined style”. To do this the estate embarked on a considerable replanting programme including planting non indigenous varietals such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon on Barbaresco classified sites.
In tandem with the replanting programme Angelo set about a modernisation of the winery and it’s approach to aging, implementing temperature controlled tanks, something very new to the region at the time. Gaja introduced the concept of aging some of their wines in barrique and bottling single vineyard expressions of their Barbaresco.