The famous winery with its headquarters in Cuneo (near Barbaresco) in the Italian region of Piedmont was founded in 1859 by Angelo Gaja. The company was one of the first bottlers in the region; the grandfather of the current owner was already supplying bottled wine to the Italian army in Abyssinia at the end of the 19th century. His son Giovanni Gaja (1908-2002) expanded the estate in the 1950s and 1960s and switched from mixed to monoculture. Angelo Gaja (*1940) continued these efforts in the third generation. He earned a diploma in viticulture in Alba and then studied economics at the University of Turin. In 1969 he took over the family business and, in collaboration with his oenologist Guido Rivella, introduced rigorous quality-enhancing yield limitation, controlled fermentation and early malolactic fermentation. The newly introduced Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay varieties were used to produce wines aged in barriques. With the Barbaresco from the single vineyards Costa Russi, Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo, Gaja caused an international sensation. In 1996, however, he gave up these single-vineyard designations and now produces the wine under the DOC designation Langhe. Another pioneering achievement is a Beaujolais-style red wine produced under the brand name Vinòt. The estate has been continuously expanded.
In 1988, the 12-hectare Marenca-Rivette vineyard in Serralunga was purchased. Here a Barolo is produced from mainly Nebbiolo and some Barbera under the name "Sperss" (Piedmontese for "nostalgia"). In 1994, the Pieve di Santa Restituta vineyard in Montalcino was bought, where a Brunello di Montalcino is produced. Two years later, Gaja founded the winery Ca' Marcanda in the Maremma. In the meantime, 300,000 bottles are produced annually in the two estates in Tuscany, and 70,000 bottles in the parent estate. The estate now covers 90 hectares in Piedmont and 114 hectares in Tuscany (16 hectares in Montalcino and 98 hectares in Maremma). Gaja is also very active in other areas, for example as the general importer of wine glasses from the Austrian manufacturer Riedel and top foreign wines such as Château d'Yquem. In 2005, a four-star hotel was opened opposite the winery. The two daughters Gaia and Rosanna and son Giovanni are the fifth generation to work in the business. Angelo Gaja is one of Italy's most influential winemakers. He is already a living legend and has been given the affectionate honorary title of "Angelo nazionale".