Paul Baggio is the driving force behind wine making and brewing technology in Australasia.
As a third-generation wine machinery manufacturer; Paul cut his teeth as a teenager making wine presses and crushers in his father’s factory. His engineer father, who emigrated from Italy, established Cellar Plus supplying wine making, brewing and food making equipment to small scale producers in Melbourne.
While working in the family business, Paul watched the wine industry experience three downturns, prompting him to change course and complete an Accounting Degree at RMIT. But the life of an accountant wasn’t for him, and Italy was calling. Embracing his heritage, Paul lived in Florence learning Italian and working in small wineries on weekends fixing equipment; the industry was in his blood.
He completed wine studies in Montello in 1995 and a vintage in Stellenbosch, South Africa, before moving to California repairing brewing pumps at the local brewery. His first foray into brewing left a lasting impression which was set to shape his future.
Paul returned to Melbourne in 1996 as the Manager of Cellar Plus. The Australian wine industry was gaining momentum and in 1997 he established Australian & New Zealand Winemakers, importing wine making equipment through his contacts in Italy. As a new player in a supply chain, which had remained the same for 30 years, the business quickly acquired a loyal clientele of small to medium sized wineries.
In 1998 Paul completed post grad studies in International Trade followed by Brewing Science the following year. He seized the opportunity to diversify his business launching Australian Engineered Brewing in 2000. Paul built Stockade Brewery later purchased by Fosters-owned Matilda Bay Brewing Company in 2001 and Bluetounge brewery later purchased by Pacific Beverages.
Today at the age of 44, Paul is the Managing Director of five companies servicing the beverage and food industry. He’s one of the major suppliers of brewing equipment in Australia and has the lion’s share of wine making technology in Australia and New Zealand. Paul regularly travels the globe in pursuit of innovation and technology that he can share with these industries.
With no intention of slowing down, he has launched two new ventures this year – Gypsy Brewing Company and The Craft and Co. Paul believes the evolution of retail will see people not only wanting to know, and become more intimate, with what they’re buying, but wanting to make it themselves.
He’s ready to get back to the soil himself, recently securing a 40 acre vineyard to pass the family passion and craft onto his three sons.