Angelo Gaja’s daughter’s first name is also Gaia and I had the pleasure of meeting her at the National Golf Club in Woodbridge, Ontario this week. She is very much involved in the family business and tells me that her father is still very much hands on. As soon as you meet her, you can see that wine is truly her passion.
Her family lives in the village of Barbaresco, which has a population of 600. There are two churches in the village however one was recently turned into a wine bar! No surprise there since there are about 100 wineries in the area. Her family has been making wine on this steep-sloped property since 1859. She told the group that she “never had the dream of being a ballerina” and knew that she would be involved in the family as soon as she was old enough.
When she was nine years old, her father wanted her to learn English and sent her to a camp in Northern Ontario for several summers in a row. This has served her quite well in her pursuit to promote her family’s wine around the world.
In Barberesco, you are never too old to start your wine education as she told us in her science class at elementary school she was already making her own wine and grappa. All I can say is that it’s a truly unique way to see how fermentation works!
The family has now expanded into other parts of Italy, including Montalcino, where they are making Brunellos, of course and the up and coming Bolgheri district located in Tuscany’s Maremma area where they are making IGT wines of primarily Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese.
Stay tuned for my next post about the wines I was able to taste.