Angelo Gaja honoured with the 2019 Winemakers' Winemaker Award

18 Mar 19


Angelo Gaja has been named as the 2019 recipient of the Winemakers’ Winemaker award, at a ceremony during ProWein today (18 March 2019).

Given annually by the Institute of Masters of Wine and the drinks business since 2011, the award recognises outstanding achievement in the field of winemaking and is chosen by a panel of winemaking peers that comprise all Masters of Wine who are winemakers, and the award’s past winners.

Adrian Garforth MW, Chairman of the IMW said, “I cannot think of anybody more worthy of receiving this honour. Angelo has never been afraid to challenge conventions and norms, but always with the overwhelming commitment to the highest possible standards of quality in winemaking. Alongside his family, but also through the Istituto Grandi Marchi he continues to promote the highest standards of excellence, culture and tradition in Italian wine.”

Angelo Gaja was born in Alba, Italy in 1940. He received a degree in oenology from “Umberto I” Oenology High School, Alba and a Master of Economics from the University of Turin. In 1961 he joined the family business, Gaja Winery, and in 1969 he took over its management. Gaja’s wife Lucia helps him manage the business along with their three children, Gaia, Giovanni and Rossana, who each have a part to play.

Gaja Winery owns wine estates in Barbaresco (Piedmont), Pieve Santa Restituta winery in Montalcino (Tuscany) and Ca’ Marcanda winery in Bolgheri (Tuscany). In 2017, the Gaja family undertook a joint venture with the Graci family. Together they purchased vineyard acreage on the southern slope of Sicily’s Mount Etna, where you can find Nerello Mascalese and Carricante varieties.

A traditional winemaker, successful businessman and dedicated member of la famiglia, Gaja is recognised as being responsible for the family’s modern success.

On receiving his award, Angelo Gaja said, “At the beginning of my career I looked at the Masters of Wine as a rare specialist club with an immense and unreachable culture. When we welcomed a group of MWs to Barbaresco in 1975, we offered them what we regarded as our best vintages. They spoke highly only about 1961 vintage – their opinions about the other vintages were severe. At first, I felt disheartened, but later I realised they were right. It was a useful lesson from which we took inspiration to regain clarity in our wines. Over the years, every time I’ve had a chance to meet an MW, I've always learned something new.”

Gaja joins an impressive list of previous winners of the award – Peter Sisseck (2011), Peter Gago (2012), Paul Draper (2013), Anne-Claude Leflaive (2014), Egon Müller (2015), Alvaro Palacios (2016), Eben Sadie (2017) and Jean-Claude Berrouet (2018).
 

ENDS
For more information contact:
Sarah Kirkpatrick
Head of Marketing, Communications and Membership
Institute of Masters of Wine
+44 (0)207 383 9131
skirkpatrick@mastersofwine.org

Notes to Editors:
The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) is a membership organisation with an unsurpassed international reputation. The Masters of Wine (MWs) hold the most respected title in the world of wine. The IMW promotes excellence, interaction and learning across all sectors of the global wine community. MWs have proved their understanding of all aspects of wine bypassing the MW examination, recognised worldwide for its rigour and high standards. In addition to passing the examination, MWs are required to sign the code of conduct before they are entitled to use the initials MW. The code of conduct requires MWs to act with honesty and integrity, and use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others. There are currently 383 Masters of Wine today, working in 30 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, buyers, journalists, shippers, business owners, consultants, academics, and wine educators. There are 360 students in the MW study programme from over 45 countries.

 

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