Along the Tuscan seaboard extending south from Livorno lies the Maremma. For centuries a marshland, it has established itself over the last quarter century as one of Italy's most prestigious wine regions.
The area boasts an excellent climate for growing international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. Hot summer days are freshened by brisk sea breezes and cool nighttime temperatures, ideal for fully ripened grapes.
The alluvial soil is unique in that it consists of two distinct types: terre brune ("dark earth", predominately loam and clay, with very little limestone or stone) and terre bianche ("white earth", primarily clay and sand, rich in limestone and filled with abundant stones and pebbles of different sizes).
It is in this region that wine icon Angelo Gaja, owner of the Gaja Winery, began a new winemaking venture — Ca'Marcanda. His aim was to transfer the experience of his Piemontese culture to the Maremma - to first acquire a thorough understanding of the potential of the different soil types and then to emphasize their specificity and uniqueness in the wines that are produced. The Maremma provides a perfect opportunity to apply this experience to growing international varieties. In 1996, along the road between Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci, Gaja began planting 150 acres of vineyards, primarily with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but also Cabernet Franc and Syrah.