Appellation: Barbaresco DOCG
Grape variety: 100% Nebbiolo
The centerpiece of the portfolio, GAJA Barbaresco is a testament to the Gaja family’s historic commitment to the appellation and its belief that Barbaresco stands proudly with the great growing regions of the world.
The GAJA winery stopped sourcing fruit from other growers in 1961 in order to ensure the utmost quality in its wines. In the early 1960s, Giovanni Gaja began to expand the family’s land holdings, and in 1967, he purchased the renowned Roncagliette farm, where much of the fruit for this wine is sourced today.
In all, GAJA Barbaresco is produced using grapes grown in 14 vineyards in the village of Barbaresco. The grapes from each lot are fermented separately in stainless-steel vats for approximately 20 days, depending on the vintage. After primary fermentation, the wine is racked to barriques, where malolactic fermentation takes place. The separate lots are then aged for one year in barriques (20 percent new, with a balance of 1- and 2-year-old casks). The 14 lots are then blended and racked to large Slavonian oak casks ranging in age from five to fifteen years.
It is important to note the unique bottle shape created by the GAJA winery for this classic wine. The rich, powerful GAJA Barbaresco is intended for aging and thus benefits from a longer cork — and, in 1978, GAJA became the first winemaker in Piedmont to make that change. In order to accommodate the new format (originally 61 millimeters, now 55 millimeters), GAJA redesigned the traditional Burgundian-format bottle used in Piedmont, creating a hybrid bottle with a long Bordelaise neck and Burgundian bottle.