Women distillers compete and perform shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts, and therefore the SA Women’s Wine & Spirit Awards decided to crown the Woman Winemaker of the Year in 2021. Lizl Giacomozzi from Comozzi is the Woman Distiller of the Year 2021.

We asked Lizl a few questions to find out more about this remarkable woman.

Lizl was born in Vereeniging and grew up in Meyerton in the Vaal Triangle. She is the maker and owner of Comozzi Gin and manufactures it all herself from start to finish. She believes the most important characteristic a distiller should have is passion, time, and perfection! Intrigued by a distiller nobody heard of to becoming Woman Distiller of the Year three years later, we had to interview this remarkable lady.

We asked Lizl to tell us about her company.

I started my gin journey in 2018, and everything happened in my kitchen. It was a hobby at first. All of a sudden, the demand for Comozzi gin became bigger. So, I decided to go bigger. Now I am supplying big chain stores and independent stores. I am negotiating with a company in the Netherlands to export my gin. I hope that one day my Comozzi gin will be worldwide. We have a company called Liqco Beverages, and we manufacture our own house brands.

Who played a vital role in you becoming a distiller?

My husband is playing an enormous role in my journey. I told him about my idea to make my own gin, and he was so supportive. I then stared straight away.

How is it different being a female in a male-dominated industry?

I love the feeling of knowing that women can achieve just as much as men can, and sometimes even more. Women are stronger than they think, and anything is possible. You should be an aggressive long-life learner and support other women. Most important of all: Stay positive!

Where do you think South Africa rates compared to the rest of the world in terms of spirits?

I think that South African spirits can compete on most platforms with the rest of the world. I’ve always believed that the South African pallet is more robust compared to most countries, and for this reason, we have a lot more flavour in our liquor brands compared to most.