The Wines of Gaja


Join us as we speak with Gaia Gaja, of the renowned Gaja Winery in Italy’s Piedmont region. Having worked at the winery since she was a child, Gaia is the fifth generation of her family to be involved in the winery, and even had a wine named in her honor (Gaia & Rey Chardonnay) by her famous father, Angelo Gaja. Angelo is credited with several innovations in winemaking, including the use of barriques – the 225-liter French oak barrels for aging Barbaresco, the production of single vineyard designations, and he planted Piedmont’s first Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc vineyards.

Founded in 1859 by Giovanni Gaja, the winery now owns 250 acres of vineyards in Piedmont’s Barbaresco and Barolo districts. In 1994, the Gajas acquired their first wine estate in Tuscany, Pieve S. Restituta in Montalcino. The property’s forty acres of vineyards produce two Brunello di Montalcino wines: Sugarille and Rennina. In 1996, the Gaja family purchased a second property in Tuscany, Marcanda, located in the Bolgheri district in the commune of Castagneto Carducci. New plantings of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Sangiovese, cover 250 acres and a state-of-the-art winery was completed on the property in 2002. Beginning in 1996, all of Gaja’s single vineyard wines have been labeled Langhe Nebbiolo D.O.C.

Sponsor: North Berkeley Wine:

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Show #156
(48:29 min 22 MB)





17 Responses to “The Wines of Gaja”

  1. 1 R.W. Jul 10th, 2007 at 7:24 am

    Great show guys, you are back on track.

    It was most interesting to hear all the innovations Gaja shared with you about her winery and the history involved with it.

    She was a fun guest, informative, and as one of you said…outstanding to look at.

  2. 2 Tim Meranda Jul 11th, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Best show in a long time. Very informative, almost like going to Piedmond shcool.

  3. 3 Allan Murphy Jul 11th, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Bravo! One of your very best shows. Good questions and you let Gaia do most of the talking – she had a lot to say. Well done and thanks!

  4. 4 Dan Lee Jul 11th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    A very good podcast, both entertaining and heart-warming to hear Gaja in person.

  5. 5 Kim Caldwell Jul 14th, 2007 at 8:44 am

    A truly fantastic interview.

    Gaia Gaja’s knowledge and generosity are truly appreciated by this listener.

  6. 6 Jeff Linder Jul 16th, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    This show was so good, it was kind of like being in a high level college course taught by a top-notch lecturer punctuated by good questions from the smart kids in the class. I loved every minute. Thank you very much.

  7. 7 Rich Sileo Jul 19th, 2007 at 7:55 am

    Great show! The best one in a long time. These are the types of show I find most interesting. Keep up the great work. I love the podcast.

    Thanks – Rich

  8. 8 Steve Jul 20th, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Must I be the one to state the obvious?

    Gaja is very attractive, wealthy, AND produces world class wine. What a combo!

  9. 9 Horacio Jul 21st, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Great show! Gaia is very interesting!!!

  10. 10 Craig Pichette Jul 22nd, 2007 at 7:03 am

    Great show. Love the interviews with winemakers and people ITB. I listened to it this morning while running and thought it was greet. Keep it up.

  11. 11 GrapeRadio Bunch Jul 29th, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    All these comments about “best show in a long time” have be wondering. Do you all feel we have been slipping?

  12. 12 Doug Smith Aug 3rd, 2007 at 11:15 am

    My guess, Jay, is that folks prefer the close interview with a single interesting winemaker rather than taped lectures from wine events and other stuff peripheral to the wine itself. I know I do. It’s always more interesting to hear a good interview than a lecture. And particularly so if its a person from a very famous winery. (Even if it’s one that makes wine way too expensive for me to consider buying!)

    Also it is more interesting to get outside of California for awhile. I certainly understand that it is much easier for you guys to scare up subject matter close to home, but speaking personally, if the interview subjects were

  13. 13 Brian Crabtree Aug 6th, 2007 at 4:05 am

    Just to provide another perspective on Doug’s comment, I like all of the program formats, but I have learned more from the seminars and certain interviews than others. The pinot clones seminar, for example, was especially noteworthy. The Burgundy interview with Allen Meadows is another. For me, winemaker interviews are interesting, but not usually of as much learning value. It’s all a matter of opinion and preference, just like the wine.

  14. 14 Doug Smith Aug 6th, 2007 at 6:09 am

    … no idea why that got cut off. Meant to say that if the interview subjects were less than ten percent California and the rest from other places (foreign and US) I’d prefer it.

    Brian’s comment shows that different listeners have different likes and dislikes. Agree with him totally about Meadows, who was amazing. (Got me to subscribe to his publication). Loved Tanzer as well. I find most of the seminars, however, to be sleep-inducing, and more winery-marketing than I can usually stand. A good interview can cut through the marketing speak to get some real insight into what’s going on. Seminars, to me, often reek of puffery, or just end up being “We do wines X,Y,Z, and here’s the history of our winery.” Much of that I can get by going to their website and reading for myself …

  15. 15 Christian Jul 21st, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Great show !

    Very interesting interview! I was lucky enough to meet her when she was in Montreal last year for a Italian wine tasting event and it was a real treat to discuss about the Gaja winery with her (and also to taste the great Barbaresco 2004 !).

    Keep up the good work!

  16. 16 Shannon O'Neill Oct 3rd, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I own a bottle of 1859 Gaja Wine that was given to my father on his
    honeymoon in Italy in 1956. My great uncle Vincenzo Infante, who was a
    famous painter from a small town in Italy, called, Gioi Chilento was a
    good friend of Angelo’s and sent my mother and father to his winery in
    1956, to meet him, and have lunch. During lunch, Angelo gave this bottle
    to my father as a wedding present. It has been stored in a temperature
    controlled basement since 1956, and is in very good shape. I doubt the
    wine is still good, but being their first Gaja Vintage, this bottle has
    historical significance. There were no labels yet, but the bottle is
    stamped in the glass, with Gaja 1859. Any idea how much this bottle is
    worth if it were auctioned off? Is there any interest out there, in this
    piece of Gaja Winery history?
    Shannon O’Neill
    President and Winemaker
    Maloy O’Neill Vineyardsforni
    Paso Robles, California

  17. 17 Caramella Nov 10th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I had heard that Gaja wines were to be superb. I found a bottle in Siena and bought it for $125. It was a birthday present for myself. I let it age another 5 years before I opened it. It wasn’t nearly as smooth as I had expected it to be. In fact, I have had far less expensive wines that were more satisfying. It’s not that it was a bad wine. I just didn’t think it was worth the price.

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