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The Production Team


MIKE HAYES – Director of Viticulture and Chief Winemaker

With 40 years of professional wine industry experience across 16 wine regions, 4 states and 2 countries, Mike Hayes is well known and respected in the industry, holding a Masters of Viticulture, 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 recently being awarded the Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology (ASVO) Winemaker of the Year for 2017. Currently one of Australia’s leading wine makers, his contributions were recognised in 2014 with the Samuel Bassett Award for “A significant contribution by an individual to the Queensland Wine Industry”. His involvement covered all aspects of the industry including winemaking, viticulture, consulting, education and research. He also plays a significant leadership role at a State and national level.

JESSICA FERGUSON – Winemaker

I joined the Sirromet team in 2005, with 10 years’ previous experience as an industrial chemist (aka “lab nerd”). I never thought I’d end up in winemaking, but once I arrived here, I never looked back. This job is never boring – seeing new vintage whites fermenting never gets old, and blending 1-year-old reds out of oak is always challenging. At the end of vintage we’re all exhausted but it’s worth it! High points along the way – the 5-Star James Halliday rating, and being recently awarded Dux of the 35th AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Course in Adelaide. (However, I still can’t make coffee.)

GLEN EATON – Cellarhand

As part of the winery team, I’m involved with all aspects of wine production from grape to bottling. Luckily, I quite like the drop! In my previous career I was a professional shooter (with a camera, naturally. Say cheese!) but was influenced to make a life-changing decision after spending time in Italy a few years ago. I’m now taking steps towards my new career in winemaking. Although purple stained hands are now part of life, it’s rewarding seeing a wine develop and take shape from start to finish –  knowing I have played an important part along the way.  My position as Chief Coffee Brewer is also critical to team morale, apparently…

MARK BARNSDALE – Bottling Manager

I have been the Bottling Manager at Sirromet wines since 2003. I am Canadian born but hooked up with a sweet looking Aussie Sheila and here I am living and enjoying the lifestyle of Australia. My claim to fame? I survived a Sasquatch attack while camping in my younger years back home. I was heating wine over an open fire (and having more than my fair share), there was commotion in the bush behind me which sent me in to flight. I ended up in the middle of the river in my canoe the night, and still swear it was a Sasquatch on my tail… or my older brother, he is very hairy. I didn’t think back then that I would be working in the wine industry but I am loving every minute and enjoying this great lifestyle that comes with it!