It’s a little bit formal… but I am working on it.
Born and raised among the vineyards of Bendigo, Victoria, I worked in regional venues and developed a strong interest in the wines of the region at an early age.
Then I moved to the city and joined the very popular Donovans in St Kilda where I was well and truly bitten by the wine bug and developed a particular love of Italian varietals.
Kevin Donovan gave me my first crack at running a wine list at age 23 and so started the vinous journey, a stint in London along with travels through many of the great regions of Europe laid further foundations to my ongoing passion for all things vinous. But in particular food orientated varietals such as Sangiovese.
Since 1998, I have had vast experience in the wine and food industry, both in Australia and Europe. This included positions at Hakkasan and Boxwood Cafe in London and most recently as Head Sommelier at Taxi Dining Room and now the iconic Stokehouse on St Kilda beach.
Through pounding the boards in a number of great but all very different restaurants, I decided he wanted to make a wine. The wines he was passionate about making were those that are food friendly and above all are interesting to the guest. I wanted to make a wine, that he loved selling on the restaurant floor.
So in 2007, with long-term sommelier and friend Adam Foster we decided to make a wine together. They had a very clear vision: a food-friendly wine based on the versatility of Sangiovese. This is when they established Foster e Rocco. They made their first wine at Syrahmi, building it from the ground up, with fermentation in both stainless steel and a mixture of older French oak barrels.
I believes my role as a sommelier and a winemaker is an educational one, and I have watched as diners have become increasingly receptive to new tastes and grape varietals.