Based in Vergne, the highest village in the commune of Barolo, GD Vajra is a relatively young estate. It was established by Aldo Vajra in 1972, when he was just 16. His father had planted vineyards in 1947 but “said I was mad”, Aldo later recollected, when he followed his childhood dream to become a winemaker. Taking over the family estate in 1968, he pursued his passion with zeal. One of the early pioneers of organic farming, in 1971 the estate became one of the first in Piedmont to be organically certified. To safeguard their unique identity and character, a programme of massal selection was introduced of his grandfather’s vines. Estate bottling was introduced in 1978.
Until now, their wines have somewhat flown under the radar, but it’s with good reason that the estate has been described as “one of Piedmont’s best kept secrets… with sublime hand-crafted, artisan wines of the very highest level”.
In the words of Giuseppe, Aldo’s eldest son, 2018 was “a vineyard vintage not winery”: 30 days of heavy rain from May to June meant a lot of work in the vineyards and rigorous selection of fruit, even before the estate’s customary triple hand-sorting on entering the winery. Their focus on vinifying small plots individually was also important, enabling them to work precisely and showcase the best of the vintage. This has resulted in fresh, mid-weight wines with silky, approachable tannins.