One of Victoria’s most brilliant wineries, Giaconda is fashioning hand-crafted, singular wines that are not only gorgeous to smell and taste, but innovative in both their blends and stylistic orientations. They combine the elegance and complexity of Europe, with the sensationally ripe fruit of Australia. The Giaconda vineyard was established by Rick Kinzbrunner, a mechanical engineer who became interested in wine in the early 1970's and spent the next ten years traveling to wine-growing areas overseas learning as much as possible. After a brief stint in New Zealand he studied at Davis University in California and worked at some of the most respected wineries in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, namely Stag's Leap, Simi and Matanzas Creek. In Europe he worked a 'stage' with the Moueix group, co-owner of the fabled Chateau Petrus. At an altitude of 400 metres (1330 feet) the site, which is a south facing slope so that the vines do not receive the direct impact of the sun's rays, is relatively cool. It is in a small valley which benefits from a light breeze much of the time; useful in controlling disease. The wines have been keenly received by winemakers, retailers and enthusiasts alike. The wine press has accorded them many accolades and placed them at or near the top in a number of masked tastings.