Jacinta (JJ) grew up in Coonawarra, then followed her interest in science to complete a BSc in Biochemistry (Hons) at Monash University, Melbourne. During her honours project she realised she didn’t enjoy being cooped up in a laboratory, so worked a Vintage in Coonawarra while deciding what to do. This launched her interest in wine and led her to a complete a number of vintages both in Australia (Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Balnaves of Coonawarra) and overseas (Ch. St Michelle, Washington State; Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay; Dr Loosen, Mosel Valley; Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Oregon). JJ continued on to the University of Adelaide to complete a Post Graduate Diploma of Viticulture & Oenology in 2016, before securing a full-time position at Pikes Wines, Clare Valley as Assistant Winemaker.
In 2018 she returned to Balnaves as Assistant Winemaker. Working with one of the best Winemakers in the country, Pete Bissell, JJ learnt invaluable knowledge within the winemaking world, leading up to Pete’s retirement from Balnaves in June 2020. She will be lucky enough to have Pete nearby to mentor her though the next coming Vintage of 2021.
Outside of her Winemaking commitments, JJ is involved with the Rural Ambassador program for SA Country Shows, volunteers for a few local community organisations and plays football for Penola. She enjoys hiking, drinking wine, cooking/eating and reading in her spare time.