You can’t overestimate the impact of Angelo Gaja on the global fine wine landscape. Though the Gaja estate was founded in 1859 by Angelo’s great-grandfather, Angelo started shaking things up in 1961 when he assumed control of the family’s winery. Angelo started small: choosing to bottle only estate-grown wines, reducing crop sizes, and decreasing fermentation periods. By 1967, Angelo had gained the confidence to make larger changes, beginning with the bottling of cru Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo, while Sorì Tildìn followed in 1970 and Costa Russi in 1978. In the mid-1970s, Angelo began aging his wines in barriques, and he replaced some prime Nebbiolo vines in Barbaresco with Cabernet Sauvignon for his Darmagi and Chardonnay for his Gaia & Rey. But as radical as some of Angelo’s innovations seemed — and his adding some Barbera to his cru Barbaresco and Barolo appeared very radical —Angelo’s boldest moves helped to bring his wines, as well as Piemonte wines, to the notice of the international market. Angelo refused to play by any rules but his own; he refused to compromise on the quality of his wines; and he succeeded. Angelo began his transition to retirement in 2004, and winemaking duties now rest in the hands of his daughter, Gaia, who has been making bold moves of her own, all in the single-minded pursuit of crafting wines of outstanding excellence.