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Click here to listen to an interview with Angelo Gaia

by Simone Zarmati Diament

Angelo Gaja, the “Admiral of the Italian Wine-Growing Renaissance”, celebrated the 150th anniversary of his family’s eponymous winery (1859 – 2009) with a unique wine tasting at the 43rd Vinitaly in Verona, Italy.

As Angelo spoke intensely and passionately about his wines and the 150 years of history of his winery , with his winemaker daughter Gaia nearby, Jancis Robinson, the well-known British wine journalist, wine writer and TV presenter MC’d the debate and a tasting of selected vintages:
- Gaia&Rey; 1994
- Darmagi 1997
- Conteisa 1996
- Sperss 1989
- Sorì San Lorenzo 1988
- Barbaresco 1964

Angelo Gaja has daringly married traditional practices and technological innovation in the Piedmont. Since his inaugural use of barrique in the vinification of his 1975 Barbaresco cuvee, Gaja is widely credited with being a pioneer with the reduction of crop size, shortened pruning of Nebbiolo vines, single-vineyard wines and decreased fermentation periods.

In softening the formidable tannins of the Nebbiolo grape Gaja produced a wine that is richer and more concentrated in its fruit expression than traditional models. Through savvy marketing he drew attention not only to his winery but was instrumental in bolstering the identity of Piemonte in the world and that of Barbaresco in particular.

Angelo Gaja also owns properties in the La Morra and Serralunga areas of Barolo, where he bottles Conteisa and Sperss Nebbiolo Langhe. He purchased Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino (1994) and Ca’Marcanda—his Super-Tuscan property—in Bolgheri (1996). Both estates are now leaders in their respective categories.   

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