It was the beginning of the new millennium and Angelo Gaja was busy making the first vintage at the family’s latest acquisition in Bolgheri; Ca’ Marcanda. Meaning ‘house of endless negotiations’ in Gaja’s Piedmontese dialect, the estate’s name is a reflection of the endless rounds of talks with the owners required to finalise the purchase of the property, which finally went through in 1996 – two years after the acquisition of the Pieve Santa Restituta estate in Montalcino.
Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for eight Ca’Marcanda wines
Angelo, looking to expand his horizons beyond his historical Barbaresco estate, clearly had his finger on the pulse; Bolgheri was not the internationally renowned region then that it is today but nevertheless the family went full steam ahead and planted most of their current 120 hectares of vines between 1996 and 2002, using a variety of clones of mostly international varieties: predominantly the two Cabernets and Merlot, with some Syrah, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, and later Viognier, Vermentino and Fiano.
The estate’s vineyards are composed of two different soil types: the ‘terre brune’ is a dark soil made up of lime and clay, while the ‘terre bianche’ is stonier and features limestone and clay.
The construction of a new winery was initiated in 1998, built out of – and within – the earth; the walls constructed from excavated stone, while mature olive trees and grass today conceal much of its subterranean structure.