At Dulcis Vitis, at the height of the Grandi Langhe tasting week, Gaia Gaja sits down to dinner.
Thoughtful, sensitive, highly intelligent and considered, it’s immediately clear that Gaia will not be swayed by anyone’s opinion.
Her father, the legendary Antonio Gaia is a tough act to follow. A maverick, visionary firebrand, he shook up the Italian wine scene.
Gaia Gaja. Image via godello.ca.
Gaia has found her own path and is very open to discussion the challenges and clashes of opinion that this engenders.
Changing her father’s 1990s policy of declassifying Barolo and Barbaresco was a clear statement of intent.
When you reflect on the attention given to Antonio’s original decision, to reverse it takes assured confidence, which Gaia has in spades. Back in the 1990s, Barolo and Barberseco DOCG had to change. Today, those denominations have a strong, coherent identity, typicality and quality focus – the impetus for Gaia’s decision.
She is also steering the company into a new commercial strategy, appointing a new importer, Hatch Mansfield, for all the Gaja family wine estates. Gaja is Hatch’s first and only Italian wine brand – but they have an impressive stable of family-owned wineries from around the world, and superb distribution.
These are confident, decisive moves. “But I want to make sure that we keep our connection with our end customers,” she says,
(the strength of Armit, the prior agent, was in direct sales). With her commitment and hard work, always travelling and presenting wines, I’m sure her loyal customers will not be disappointed.