It’s impossible to talk about the renaissance of the modern Italian wine without mentioning Angelo Gaja. With his influential, creative and visionary personality he has, for half a century, paved the way for the Italian wine world from ‘cheap and cheerful’ to elegant, fine wines of top quality. With a degree in oenology from the Scuola dell’Enologia in Alba, a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Turin, and the local success of his father Giovanni Gaja, Angelo had all that he needed to build a successful, internationally oriented family business with an excellent strategy plan.
Recently, the success of Gaja as an artisanal wine producer was put in the spotlight with the Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 Wine Star by Wine Enthusiast.
The Gaja winery has delivered pioneering work in wine production for five generations and it is still on top of the list in the international wine world of Wine Spectator, Suckling, Decanter and others which all contributed to the success of this wine.
Gaja’s story began in 1859, when Giovanni Gaja started producing Barbaresco. It all began with a trattoria where the Gajas served their home-made wine and eventually acquired worldwide fame with their Piedmontese and Tuscan wines. The Barbaresco and Barolo wines are especially worth mentioning. Their wine collection consists of, among others, the classic Barbaresco, grand cru sites Sori Tildin, Costa Russi and Sori San Lorenzo, and also Darmagi and Sito Moresco.
Angelo Gaja – the fourth generation – continued the life work of his family, and in particular of his father Giovanni. He is the commercial brain within the company. The decision to use only their own grapes for the production and to introduce a few innovative techniques has turned their local success into a global one. The title “Godfather of Italian Wines” is very common when you Google the word “Gaja”.
Guido Rivella, who sat next to Angelo Gaja in the Scuola di Enologia in Alba, worked mainly in the wine cellar. He was quite bold, introduced new ideas and triumphed together with the commercial genius Angelo Gaja wanted to conquer the world. You never achieve success all by herself, so Angelo Gaja decided to promote his wine worldwide through nifty marketing strategies, while Guido Rivella would produce a top-notch quality product.
Angelo Gaja’s grandmother Clothilde de Rey, a schoolteacher who ran a Thatcher-like regime, had a great influence on him. She nearly carved in his brain that he had one job in this world: proclaim his family history and make the world’s best wine. This way he would reach the top and go through life with fame and fortune. The wisdom of granny Clothilde can still be felt in face-to-face conversations with Angelo. He breathes, fills every minute of his daily schedule and entertains his public with one goal in mind: “spread the message”.