Giulia Fiorovic & Federico Pezzino Cape Jaffa Wines

Top Winemakers

The Cape Jaffa Wines vineyard has been at the forefront of biodynamic practices in the Limestone Coast region, setting a benchmark for sustainable viticulture. At the heart of Cape Jaffa’s winemaking today are the talented Italian expatriates Giulia Fiorovic, who took the helm as head winemaker in 2022, and Federico Pezzino, who joined as winemaker in 2023. Their shared journey in winemaking began a decade earlier at the University of Oenology and Viticulture in Bologna. With the support of Cape Jaffa’s owner, Derek Hooper, Fiorovic and Pezzino have infused the winery with their inventive spirit, as seen in the creation of the ‘Aura’ range. This new lineup to the Cape Jaffa banner offers vibrant wines and emerging wine styles through winemaking exploration that can extend beyond the Cape Jaffa vineyard.

The narrative of Giulia Fiorovic and Federico Pezzino at Cape Jaffa Wines is a vivid illustration of how unforeseen encounters can shape our paths. Fiorovic shares, “We met 10 years ago on our first day at University in Italy and became best buddies ever since. We always wanted to work together, but life led us different ways.” Their unexpected reunion in South Australia sparked not only a renewed friendship but a professional collaboration steeped in a shared commitment to sustainability and innovative winemaking. “In early 2022, we unexpectedly met again in remote South Australia and discovered we were working just an hour apart,” Fiorovic recalls. “Learning this, we started a new tradition of having carbonara together every Monday. While enjoying our spaghetti, we discussed finally working together, which became a reality later in 2022. We love Cape Jaffa Wines because it stands alone from all the other winery in the region, very focussed on sustainability – we are 100% powered by solar panels – and biodynamic farming. The terroir, the cool climate, the soil and the incredible team working here are what kept us in this place.”

Their approach to winemaking is characterized by a blend of curiosity and innovation. “We are very curious winemakers, and our aim is to discover the real potential of the cool climate area of Mount Benson, thinking out of the box and trying techniques never used in this specific area before,” explains Fiorovic. Their mission is to craft distinctive, fresh, and engaging wines, leveraging their extensive international experience and a deep commitment to biodynamic practices. “Our aim is to produce wines different from the standards, fresh and interesting with a focus on sustainability and biodynamic farming,” Fiorovic emphasizes. This creative ethos underpins their work, driving them to produce wines that are not only authentic and genuine but also reflective of their personal journey and the distinctive characteristics of Cape Jaffa’s vineyards.

While Fiorovic and Pezzino’s don’t manage the vineyard, they collaborate closely with Cape Jaffa’s viticulturist, Hamish Stevenson. Their tenure at Cape Jaffa Wines is not just about pioneering winemaking; it’s also about their steadfast approach to overcoming environmental challenges. Fiorovic shares, “The weather on the coast can be quite unpredictable, particularly during crucial phases like flowering or fruit set, leading to lower yields in recent years. Fortunately, our biodynamically farmed plants since the initial planting in 1993 have shown remarkable resilience. Even in a wet year like 2023, we’ve managed to avoid significant diseases. We’re firm believers in the power of nurturing the soil and its community, investing our efforts to maintain a healthy vineyard.” Their vision for the future includes diversifying Mount Benson’s viticultural landscape by introducing new grape varieties, further enriching the region’s winemaking repertoire.

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