It took so long (18 trips in all) to complete negotiations for the 1996 purchase of this historic 250-acre Bolgheri estate that the Gaja family began to call it “ca’ marcanda,” the house of endless negotiations, from the Piedmontese dialect ca’ (meaning casa or house) and marcandè (meaning mercanteggiare or to haggle).
It took another six years before Italian architect Giovanni Bo would complete the design and construction of a state-of-the-art winemaking facility due to Italy’s restrictive policies on new vineyards. The Ca’ Marcanda winery was built from scratch – was completely dreamed up by Angelo; whereas Piedmont was built over five generations. This new winery was built exactly as he wanted it after 40 years of experience. The layout and design allow for the precision necessary to craft exceptional wines, albeit with minimal intervention. GAJA made a significant investment in a state-of-the-art winery that blends in with its surroundings. Today is is practically completely invisible – and becoming ever more so year after year. This is because the winery is built underground. The architect had them dig a huge hole, and then used the stones that they pulled out to build walls and all of the surrounding ground area to cover the estate. Today, eight years since its completion, Ca’ Marcanda stands alone as a unique contribution to the history of winemaking. The winery is itself a work of art: not only is Ca’ Marcanda one of Italy’s leading producers of wine, it is an “art object,” an art collection, and a study in ergonomics, where aesthetic ideal, humanist proportion, nature, and functionality come together to create an ideal working environment. The 5th generation is developing innovations at Ca’Marcanda that will continue their family’s legacy.