There are several wine regions in the world which, because of generations of expertise, loving craftsmanship and a dedication to excellence and tradition, have risen above mere appreciation to become famed and revered. One such region is Barolo, often considered the spiritual heart of Italy’s wine culture - a beautiful region of misty hillsides and rustic villages, now renowned the world over for the quality of its red wines. Here, we find the GD Vajra estate, a family run winery which is continuing the fine old tradition of Barolo winemaking, and consistently producing wines which proudly display the name of this wonderful region on the bottle. GD Vajra is situated in Vergne, a village in Barolo which is the highest in altitude of all this wine region’s villages. The winery takes its name from Giuseppe Domenico Vajra, an enterprising family man who founded the winery back in 1972, making use of vineyards inherited from his grandparents. The vines had long been producing high quality fruit, but it wasn’t until the late 1960s that Barolo wines starting getting the attention of the wider world, thanks to the Italian DOC system being introduced which allowed quality to be controlled and regional names to be used more effectively on bottles.
GD Vajra is today run by Giuseppe’s son, Aldo, who runs the winery with his children and his wife, who together look after all forty hectares inherited from his father. The vines of GD Vajra are perfectly situated at an ideal altitude, which allows the wonderful grapes which grow there to ripen later than those in neighboring vineyards, and thus possess a level of elegance which marks GD Vajra apart from those wineries around it. The region enjoys a dry microclimate, creating low-yielding vines which ensure the grapes reach maximum expression of terroir and plenty of fascinating character.
Around a quarter of the vines grown by GD Vajra are Nebbiolo - a classic Barolo grape varietal, which express plenty of character through the rich calcareous marl soil, the hefty, rocky hillsides resulting in highly fragrant and long-living vines. However, the winery deals with several different varietals, and is highly praised for the semi-sweet sparkling wines it produces, also. Essentially, GD Vajra is a traditional winery, and works using old style methods with little chemical intervention. The blending techniques may be modern, but the ageing is still done in the traditional manner, using oaken barrels over a three and half year period which gives a length and roundness to the wines which is hard to beat.