The story of Francesca Vajra
As a little girl, the green hills, the vines, and the mountains, were all she knew. Her mother and father loved art, the home was filled with love and cooking and brothers. This was a house nestled in the historic Barolo hills of the Langhe, Piedmont. A region protected by the majestic Alps, a bubble of beauty against the outside world. The vineyards were her playground.
When she was little, she didn’t think of her parent’s work as a ‘job’, just that it was their life. She knew they went away to big events (Vinitaly) and that she got to spend lots of time with her grandparents, who made her and her brothers amazing meals, prepared with local food and love. She knew they lived with the grapes, picking, crushing, bottling. The frenzied time of harvest was one long time of excitement.
Her earliest memories as a 5 year old are explosions of color and art, she was greatly influenced by the work of Father Costantino Ruggeri, who installed incredible stained glass work in the family winery. This stained glass, with its vibrant blues, lines the walls of the tank and fermentation room, so that the natural beauty is reflected inside. She danced in the blue green light, ran around the tanks, rejoiced in the magic.
At 12 years old she was sure she would become an architect. It seems her parent’s love of art manifested itself in her as a love for beautiful buildings. As she grew up and explored her own interests she ultimately came back to the winery. She discovered she couldn’t leave this wonderful place, her birthright.
She is constantly in pursuit of beauty, truth and joy, she sees both art and wine as vehicles of expression, meant to help us go deeper in our understanding of places and ideas.
Today, her family works as a team to create the exceptional line of GD Vajra wines, which are expressive of the unique place they are grown. To know Piedmont is to fall in love with its land and its people first, and the wine is a memento that you can take with you. Every time you open a bottle of GD Vajra wine, you are transported.
I have visited with Francesca twice at the family winery and tasted multiple vintages of the exquisite wines. There is no one more honest, more true and pure in their pursuit of living their best life and spreading the message of connectivity to the land.
To help transport us all to Piedmont, Francesca has shared a simple family recipe.
Pesche ripiene: a very quick dessert to make, perfect to be enjoyed in summer time with a glass of Moscato d’Asti or a sip of Barolo Chinato!
Choose your peaches (the ones I love are the ones called “vineyard peaches” an old variety extremely tasty and juicy, that mature together with the grapes!).
Cut them in half, remove the core and fill the cavity with a mixture of toasted hazelnuts, amaretti and cocoa powder (and a tiny bit of sugar if you like!).
Bake then in the oven until the peach is soft and you got a crunchy and caramelized surface.
GD Vajra wines available at DEP’s:
Moscato d’Asti, $17.99
Rosabella Rose, $17.99
Metodo Classico Rose, $35.99
Langhe Rosso, $13.98 on sale!
Langhe Nebbiolo, $24.99
Barbera Superiore, $44.99
Dolcetto d’Alba, $19.99
Barolo Chinato, $65.99
Baudana Bianco, $21.99
Kye Freisa, $39.99
Barolo Bricco delle Viole $80.99
Luigi Baudana Barolo, $80.99