Wine Stars: The Gaja Family

Italian wine legend Angelo Gaja, joined by his children Gaia, Rossana and Giovanni, kicked off the Wine Experience seminars with good humor and great Barolo

Wine Stars: The Gaja Family
Angelo Gaja with, from left, daughter Gaia, wife Lucia, daughter Rossana and son Giovanni
Oct 25, 2021

The fine wines of Italy were little-known to U.S. wine lovers when Piedmont vintner Angelo Gaja made his first trip to the United States at age 34, nearly 50 years ago. Since then, more than 60 of Gaja’s wines have earned classic ratings of 95 points or more, his children Gaia, Rossana and Giovanni have joined him in the family business, and the Gaja name has become one of the most revered among American wine consumers.

Due to pandemic travel restrictions, the Gaja family was unable to attend their Wine Experience seminar in person, but their 2014 Barolo Conteisa (93 points, $255 on release) arrived safely for guests to taste while enjoying a hilarious and touching recorded message from Angelo, Gaia, Rossana and Giovanni, filmed at their family home in Barbaresco.

“We’re still happy to be in front of you,” said Wine Experience regular Gaia, “with Angelo, with Giovanni, and with my sister that you have not met yet …”

“Hello everybody, my name is Rossana, and yes, Angelo has three children … I’m the one that they always leave in Barbaresco to keep things running, so believe me, I am the most disappointed that I can’t come to New York.”

In honor of the Wine Experience’s 40th anniversary, the family shared some of the momentous occasions over the decades that put Gaja’s Barolos and Barbarescos on the world stage, including game-changing coverage from Wine Spectator. “The United States has been the most important country, and the first among all the countries in the world, to recognize the dignity of Italian wines and to encourage artisanal producers to do better,” said Gaia.

As Angelo passes the baton to his children, and celebrates his own 60th anniversary at the helm of the Gaja estate, he is confident that the wine industry is in good hands. “What I say to my children—I am 81 years old—is to be able to think different … and to have passion in what they do.”

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