Rocco is originally from Puglia south of Italy, where he first fell in love with wine and began his hospitality and wine training. Rocco migrated to Australia in 1998 and immediately began work at Bortolotto Cafe Menis in St Kilda, following the same team to Cecconi’s restaurant at Crown.
By 2004 Rocco had opened his first business, a restaurant and wine bar in Beechworth named Warden’s Food and Wine. Wardens earned Rocco a hat with The Age Good Food Guide as well as the Wine Service Award of 2009 also given by the Good Food Guide.
After Wardens, Rocco joined the Vue de Monde group as Director of Wine for the next 6 years.
In 2012 Rocco started his own wine company, Project Forty Nine and began producing Chardonnay in Beechworth. Later he also opened a Deli and providore in Beechworth, as well as a restaurant and events space in Collingwood under the same name P49.
Now post Covid Rocco has moved and rebranded his restaurant ‘Bar Rosella’ to Gertrude Street Fitzroy. Focusing on fine wine and traditional Puglian cuisine.