A Wine Teller by Andre Silva

Protect the artisans, said Angelo Gaja.

“An artisan does what he does for passion and not to please the market”

Angelo Gaja

On July 15 2019 my classmates and I were received by Angelo Gaja at the Cantina Gaja Barbaresco headquarters, the Castello Palazzo dei Galleani built in 1695 by Giovanni Galleani. He greeted us all with a brief and firm handshake and gave himself to each of us his business card. Angelo was accompanied by his kind son Giovanni Gaja.

Angelo began with a brief explanation of the castle’s history and restoration while introducing us to the Riedel wine glass and decanter room.

Then we went to the tasting room where Angelo told us about his family history, his winery history and also a bit of what he thinks about global warming and climate change. Angelo made a passionate defense of the artisan producers and explained to us what it means in terms of innovation in the world of wine. According to him the artisan production is fundamental to the preserve traditions and also to have new approaches to production as a counterpoint to the mass industrial production.

About climate change, Angelo said it is impossible to deny climate change and global warming because changes are visible not only at the vineyards but also in the wines. With climate changes the grapes have matured prematurely causing a change in the volatile compounds present in the must. In addition, the sugar levels in the grape have risen bringing as a result wines with an alcohol content about 2 or 3 degrees more than 40 years ago.

It is a fact that global warming has caused great changes in the viticulture profile not only in Barolo and Barbaresco. Winemakers have sought to adapt to this by planting vineyards in higher altitude plots to maintain the ideal temperature or even seeking to exchange varieties of grapes looking for others that best suit the new conditions.

For me personally it was a great experience to listen to Angelo Gaja’s words. I was very surprised by their political view and thoughts. Also how he have been facing the need of changes. I know a lot of new people who do not have a third of the joviality and energy of Angelo Gaja.

Words that I recorded well:

“Fare questo lavoro ci permette di avere un piede nella natura e un piede nel mondo. E in futuro diventirà sempre più importante avere un lavoro per cui si ha passione”

Angelo Gaja

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