Top 50 most powerful women in wine: 20 – 11


12 Gaia GajaAGE: 33
Heiress to the Gaja wine dynasty, arguably Italy’s most famous fine wine estate, Gaia is the eldest daughter of the 72-year-old “King of Barbaresco” Angelo Gaja. She has been given increased responsibility at the family firm in the lead up to her father’s impending retirement. Involved with the day-to-day running of the Piedmont-based company, Gaia oversees the annual production of 350,000 bottles of Gaja’s 18 wines made across 100 hectares of vineyards in Barolo and Barbaresco, 27ha in Montalcino, and 110ha in Bolgheri. As charismatic as her famous father, Gaia studied economics in California before joining Gaja. She is becoming known as the face of the Gaja brand, representing the company at tastings and dinners around the world.

One Response to “Top 50 most powerful women in wine: 20 – 11”

  1. I highly recommend Nancy Ponzi who be a strong candidate for the Top 50. Nancy and her husband Dick, were one of the original pioneers in the Oregon Wine Industry. She has led the way for the Willamette Valley and developed the foundation for our region.

    She co-founded The Consumers’ Food Council, which promotes environmental concerns of food and agriculture and the novel concepts of recycling, ingredient labeling and a legal definition of organic. This led to becoming a registered environmental lobbyist at the Oregon Legislature. Nancy also worked with the legislature to ensure Oregon’s label requirements are the strictest in the world – wineries must have 90% of the varietal on our labels.

    She helped create the !Salud! Foundation which provides healthcare for local vineyard workers, the International Pinot Noir Celebration (noted as one of the finest wine events in the world), Oregon Pinot Camp and the list goes on… Nancy and her husband also raised two powerful young women, Luisa who now makes the wines, and Maria who handles the sales and marketing.

    I was very fortunate to have a career with the Ponzi Family and learned so many valuable work ethics and tricks of the trade. These three women have been powerful not only in the Oregon wine community, but are recognized internationally for their achievements. They instilled the power in me that women in wine were as equal to the male dominated industry and gave me the confidence to achieve my dreams of owning 1) a brand development company for wineries, 2) starting my own winery, Retour as a single, young female and 3) my third business which focuses on the brokerage of rare and fines wines. I’ve been in the wine business since I was a sophomore in college. From the start, I have always been mentored and inspired by high achieving women in the industry. I never felt that women were anything but strong, powerful and inspirational leaders. I have enjoyed all of your selections so far, there are so many fabulous women in the wine community. Would love to see you consider Nancy Ponzi.

    Thank you,

    Lindsay Woodard
    Retour Winery

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