The Gaja winery was founded in 1859 by Giovanni Gaja, the Gaja family having arrived from Spain during the 17th century. The family Gaja opened a tavern in Barbaresco, serving its wines with the food. At the end of the 19th century, Gaja wines were bottled and supplied to the Italian army in Abyssinia. In 1937, Giovanni Gaja first put the name Gaja in big red letters on his bottles' labels. The firm progressed following World War II as Giovanni Gaja made a significant series of vineyard purchases in terms of scale and vineyard quality. Angelo Gaja, (born 1940) great-grandson of Giovanni Gaja, began his career with the company in 1961 at the age of 21, having studied wine making at the Enological Institute in Alba and at the University of Montpellier in France, and held a degree in economics from the University of Turin. At the time there were only about 100 people producing Barbaresco and Barolo, and Gaja was already the major vineyard owner of Barbaresco. $300 per person.