Introducing Filippo L’Episcopo, the new Head Sommelier at Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney.
Hailing from Sicily, Filippo grew up on the taste of grapes as he played in his grandfather’s small vineyard, which serviced the extended family and also produced their olive oil.
“I’ve been eating grapes off the vines since I could walk,” Filippo says. “In Italy wine is always on the table with your meal, it’s part of the culture. I grew up on the smell of wine, and a little sip here and there.”
In his 20s, Filippo moved to London, kickstarting his hospitality career as a bartender, where his interest in wine flourished. Before long he became a Sommelier, he started to read books on wine, and London became a launchpad into the vineyards of Europe where he travelled enthusiastically. He also began studying wine.
“It’s been a never-ending educational journey since,” Filippo says.
In 2008, Filippo moved to Sydney with his Australian wife, which opened the door to further travels and study. He earned his Advanced Sommelier Certificate from the world-renowned Court of Master Sommeliers in 2015, and has his sights set on becoming a Master Sommelier – the ultimate CMS qualification.
In Australia, Filippo has worked with Merivale, the Park Hyatt and most recently at Italian restaurant Seta Sydney. He has accepted the Head Sommelier baton with pride.
“Rockpool Bar & Grill opened around the same time that I arrived in Sydney; it’s an institution when it comes to wine,” he says.
“This is a great opportunity to take my career to the next level, to work for a great company and Filippo L’Episcopo wine program and with a group of amazing people.”