Italian wine giant Gaja is re-embracing the Barbaresco appellation in Piedmont with three single vineyard wines that left the DOCG club more than a decade ago.

Gaia Gaja, daughter of renowned winemaker Angelo Gaja, said she and her siblings, Rossana and Giovanni, have chosen to take the three red wines back under the Barbaresco appellation umbrella.

The wines, Costa Russi, Sorì Tildin and Sorì San Lorenzo, will be labelled as appellation Barbaresco DOP – equivalent to DOCG under new EU rules – from the 2013 vintage release.

It means that all must be made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes.

Since the 1996 vintage, the wines have used the ‘Langhe’ denomination, after Angelo Gaja decided that they would benefit from up to 15% of Barbera grapes in the final blend.

‘Every generation has its own path to follow and has the right to do things in its own way,’ Gaia Gaja told Decanter.com.

‘Above all [with this decision], we want to pursue the pure expression of the Nebbiolo variety,’ she said.

It was not a decision taken against her father’s will, she added. ‘It’s a decision we long thought about and to which we’ve come thanks also to the support of our father [Angelo Gaja].’

Gaia Gaja said her father originally detached the wines from the Barbaresco appellation in order to produce them as they were before 1966, when the Barbaresco DOC appellation was born and included the 100% Nebbiolo rule.

Barbaresco did not get DOCG status – the highest level of Italy’s appellation system – until 1980.

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