Angelo Gaja took over the family business in 1970. ‘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’. At the forefront of promoting the wines of Piemonte and Barbarresco in particular Gaja replanted many of the vineyards, installed temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks, introduced the concept of ageing wines in small oak barrels and began releasing single vineyard Barbarescos. Most controversial of all (least of all with his own father), Gaja planted some Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay on prime Barbaresco land.
Today Gaja has 101 hectares of vineyards divided into 32 separate plots and produces around 30,000 cases of wine a year. The influence of the next generation, spearheaded by Angelo's daughter Gaia, has continued with the family's search for continuous improvement. The addition of Barbera into the crus has ceased and their estate in Bolgheri has seen the blends reworked to better reflect the lessons learned about soils and grapes since they first planted the vines here over 20 years ago. Gaja produces world-class wines and the property in Montalcino also sees them produce a small range of exquisitely crafted Brunello wines.