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G.D. Vajra

Barolo, Piemonte


Aldo Vajra is a traditionalist. He adheres to old-style winemaking methods, such as ageing his Barolo in barrel for three and a half years prior to bottling, though blends these with new techniques. Vajra defends his approach, saying that "traditional wines are more elegant, with more delicate perfumes, leaner, somewhat difficult, but offering more pleasure at the table." His wines lack the power found in those from Serralunga or Monforte, but thanks to Aldo's skill in the vineyard and his deft touch in the winery, the wines have a sinewy texture, a Burgundian intensity and a purity of flavour that makes them stand out in Barolo.

Aldo Vajra established the estate as a teenager between 1968 and 1972 and his sons Giuseppe and Isidoro now work together with him. The vineyards had been in the family since the 1920s but were given to share-croppers after the end of WWII until Aldo's passion brought him back to Barolo to claim the family legacy and farm it himself. With the advent of the DOC and the increase in interest for Barolo in the early 1970s, viticulture had once again became economically viable. Aldo has gradually increased the area under vine to the current 40 hectares, of which ten are planted with Nebbiolo for his Barolo, located in such prized vineyards as Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta, Coste di Vergne. Vajra's vineyards are more than 50 years old and are located in the commune of Barolo, in Vergne, on the western border of the zone. The soil is rich in calcareous marl, with rocky outcrops, giving elegant, fragrant and particularly long-lived wines. The vineyards are situated about 400 metres above sea level. Vajra's vineyards ripen later than in many other areas and crus in the region, with the result that his Barolos have always been quite distinctive: wines with fresh and lifted aromas, showing a judicious acidity that balances the generous fruit to give a lively and crisp style.


My inspirational wine

There isn't just one wine but the many wines I've tasted have both inspired me and help correct my style of winemaking. I do remember the first wine I drank which was a very tannic blend of Barbera and Nebbiolo made by my grandfather, Carlo. At the time, this tannic character was associated with whole bunch fermentation. Aldo Vajra.