Interview with Katrina Pizzini by Catherine Forge at Pizzini Wines, King Valley, Victoria, on 21 July 2017. Original recording.

Katrina Pizzini [nee Nicholson] was born in Melbourne in 1954 and is the mother of Natalie Pizzini, who was also interviewed for the Invisible Farmer Project on 21 July 2017. Both Katrina and Natalie work for their family wine-making business, Pizzini Wines, in Whitfield, King Valley, Victoria. Katrina became involved with farming when she married Fred Pizzini in her late teens and became an integral part of the Pizzini family farm and business in the King Valley, which at this stage the farm was producing tobacco. Over the years Katrina and Fred had four children, and Katrina balanced domestic work, motherhood and on-farm labour. In the 1970s-early 1980s the tobacco farm gradually ceased production and the tobacco was replaced with wine grapes. Katrina describes her work on the vineyard as 'hands on'; her responsibilities included outdoor work planting poles and training vines as well as indoor work such as accounting and bookkeeping.

In 1994 Katrina and Fred purchased the Mountain View Hotel in Whitfield, a short drive from the Pizzini vineyard. Katrina worked alongside her daughter Natalie Pizzini to cook, clean and maintain the hotel, eventually leading to the development of a cellar door and B & B. Towards the end of the interview Katrina reflects on the importance of value-adding and tourism to the Pizzini family business. In recent years Katrina's main duties have focused on bringing tourists to the King Valley region with cooking classes and gourmet food offerings such as homemade passata, raspberry jam, popcorn and chocolate. Katrina reflects on the significant influence her mother-in-law Rosa Pizzini (1924-2017), who dedicated her life's work to the family business and is remembered fondly as a strong and resilient mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, chef, gardener and community member.

This interview is part of Museums Victoria's Invisible Farmer Project Collection. The Invisible Farmer Project was the largest ever study of Australian women on the land, uncovering the histories and stories of Australian women in agriculture. It began as a pilot project (2015-2016) and evolved into a three year (2017-2020) nation-wide partnership between rural communities, academic, government and cultural organisations, funded by the Australian Research Council.

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Digital audio recording, MP3 format.

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