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G. D. Vajra is situated just three kilometres from the centre of Barolo, in the Piedmont region, a comfortable drive southeast of Turin. Back in 1968, teenager Aldo Vaira was taken from a Turin rife with student demonstrations, to spend the summer with his grandparents in Barolo. The long warm months helped the youngster to develop both a passion and a dream. A long journey later, the noted Venezuelan-born wine critic Antonio Galloni has described their operation as ‘a world of sublime, hand-crafted, artisan wines of the very highest level’.
The company itself was founded in the early 1970s. At a time when many were deserting the countryside for the attractions of urban living, Aldo was proudly returning to the land of his ancestors, carefully matching his love of tradition with a passionate adaptability. The former is demonstrated by the J in the name Vajra – a rogue letter from a pre-1920s spelling of their family name.
Their operation is now run by the second generation, namely Giuseppe, Isidoro and Francesca, but still carefully and lovingly overseen by parents Aldo and Milena. Over the intervening years, coveted holdings in Barolo, and nearby Novello, Sinio and Serralunga have been added. The last of these is now the home of the glorious wines produced under the label Luigi Baudana.
It’s accepted that this family absolutely excels in their Piedmont offerings of Barbera and Dolcetto, Moscato and Nebbiolo. You can then add to this their extremely rare Freisa, and a Riesling that is simply much better than we have any right to expect.
Barolo Albe has garnered a deserved reputation for being one of the best-value Barolos to be found. Briccodelle Viole found its place as simply one of the finest cru Barolo wines. We mentioned above their Luigi Baudana wines, entrusted to the family a decade ago; these certainly do give it an excellent run for its money!