Sirromet Winery has appointed Mike Hayes to the new role of director of viticulture and chief winemaker.
Hayes, who has worked for Sirromet as director of viticulture and winery operations since July 2018 replaces Adam Chapman as chief winemaker who resigned earlier this month.
With 40 years professional wine industry experience across 16 wine regions, four states and two countries, Hayes will team up with Jessica Ferguson, who has been promoted to the role of winemaker. Ferguson has 14 years’ winemaking experience with Sirromet and has been promoted from assistant winemaker to winemaker.
“I am thrilled to be announced as Sirromet’s new chief winemaker and look forward to working with Jessica and the winemaking team to lead Sirromet through this exciting new phase. Both Jessica and myself have similar philosophies behind winemaking, which is minimal intervention in the winery and the vineyard is where quality starts and great wines are grown,” Mike said.
Mike is well known and respected in the industry, holding a Masters of Viticulture. He is the current president of the Queensland Wine Industry Association, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Queensland, wine judge at the Australian Small Winemakers Awards and was awarded the Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology (ASVO) Winemaker of the Year for 2017.
Jessica is a natural high achiever, being a degree-qualified chemist with a varied career in food science and environmental science fields. In 2014, she graduated as Dux from a star-studded field of students completing the AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Course and has graduated with distinction from Levels 1-3 of the globally recognised Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET). Well respected in the industry, she has had wine show judging experience at both a regional and national level.
Mike and Jessica will continue to produce many of the traditional varietals for which Sirromet is well known and are excited to develop new alternatives. Expect to see emerging varietal champions such as Saperavi, Montepulciano, Lagrein, Vermentino and Fiano.
“Mike and I have had a long respectful working relationship over many years and I have great admiration for his achievements,” says Ferguson.
Mike adds: “Jessica has one of the best palates in the business and together I am very confident we will continue the great work that has been done with establishing Sirromet wines high quality reputation. Our aim is to build on this success and become globally recognised as one of the highest quality wine producers in the world.”