PIEDMONT & TUSCANY, ITALY
Founded 1859 - Owners Gaja Family - Trivia One of the pioneers of modern winemaking in Italy
Established in 1859 by Giovanni Gaja, this family run company opened a tavern serving its wines with food, and at the turn of the century they were bottling wines and supplying the Italian army!
Angelo Gaja, Giovanni's great grandson, is the member of the family that changed the company. He was inspired by French winemakers and was the revolutionary in Italy by doing green harvests, making single vineyard wines, introducing malolactic fermentation, planting French grapes, using new oak... just turning the world of wine on its head!
He was criticised for his practices, not least by his father, but his focus on quality won through and his wines became highly sought after. He nearly started a venture with Robert Mondavi, but pulled out saying it would be "like a mosquito having sex with an elephant: very dangerous and not much pleasure."
He has now passed the running of the company onto his daughters, Gaia and Rossana, but is still not retired.