Giorgio de Maria exploded onto the Sydney hospitality scene with his revelatory bar/bottle shop 121BC. Quickly a fixture in Australian hospitality circles, Giorgio is one of the most gregarious, charismatic and enthusiastic humans to oscillate through our world. His former life as an academic in cheese (yes, this is a thing!) and agriculture, set up the foundation for his pursuit of natural wine. He co-founded Rootstock Sydney (Australia’s largest ever sustainable food and natural wine festival) with our very own Mike Bennie, James Hird of Icebergs group and Matt Young and Linda Wiss of Black Market Sake. He’s responsible, with Pasi Petanen, for the outrageous ‘That’s Amore’ pop-ups, co-founded Soulfur natural wine festival, and has been a consultant on infinite projects regarding natural wine.
A Piedmont native, Giorgio has some of the most detailed and intimate knowledge of Italy’s natural wine scene. This has expanded into France and Spain, spirits and distillates, with his brilliant portfolio Giorgio De Maria Fun Wines. The range boasts some of the greatest cult wine producers on earth, including Giuseppi Rinaldi, Canonica, Cappellano alongside inititable producers like Le Coste/Litrozzo, Cantina Giardino, Serragghia, Farnea, Dario Princic and Panevino. Most recently Giorgio has been bringing into Australia the incredible wines of Mendall, Ad Vinum and Escoda-Sanahuja. Anyway, Giorgio is a whirlwind of energy, addictive to be around, and just so damn loveable. He swims anywhere (often without any clothes), makes amazing pasta from scratch, is a highly skilled dog trainer (hello Paski!) and makes strange but amusing noises, a lot. We love you.
Giorgio’s Fun Pack is, well, fun. And serious. And good. Real good. It’s got Carolina Gatti’s amazing, super-focused au naturale sparkling (she’s a genius with fizz!), the incredibly textural and intriguing Mario Macciocca Monocromo, the crunchy, crisp, cranberry-tang-laced rosé of Sorelle Palazzi, and hot off his Australian tour, Cristiano Guttarolo’s take on fresh, vibrant primitive, unlike any really anywhere. Then there two aces in the hole with Rabasco’s world class Cancelli red (montepulciano) and Spanish legend Escoda-Sanahuja’s fragrant, fine-boned cabernet franc blend. Hooley dooley. Or as Giorgio would say, mamma mia! Or maybe he doesn’t say that. Anyway, this is an amazing pack and helps keep Giorgio rolling.